After reading Dr. Papert’s “The gears of my childhood”, I realized that I found my gear way past my childhood.
As a kid I used to love tinkering with anything I could get my hands on, whether it was an old toy with a mechanical movement, an old computer or even random household objects.
Luckily I grew up with a mom who loved tinkering herself and a father who as a mechanical engineer, had every tool there is to help me in this hobby of mine.
When I finished highschool, I thought my passion was programming, I had a knack for writing programs and analyzing how the digital world works, I was lucky enough to be born at the time where I was young enough to know the internet but was still able to play in the streets.
So naturally I decided to study something related to my love for the digital world, which is why I studied computer engineering.
After graduation, I realized that my love for tinkering objects still outshined my love for programming, I loved to see the tangible results of what I do and not have them confined behind a computer screen and that’s when I stumbled across the “FabLab” World.
I was like Willy Wonka walking around in my own definition of a chocolate factory. I was 23 when I first knew what a FabLab is, which is a space with different tools that enables people to build customized solutions to problems, there was no lower or upper limit to what the problem can be, whether you wanted to just customize a mobile stand or build cutting edge products that could be turned into viable businesses.
At 24, I decided to take the “Fab Academy – How to Make Almost Anything” diploma, it was a 6 months intensive program that teaches principles of digital fabrication. With a background in programming, I do admit that it was easier for me than my colleagues.
Ever since then, I’ve been instructing the Fab Academy program and trying to incorporate what I learnt with the different educational programs I run at the FabLab, where I work.
I incorporate hands-on practical learning methodology in almost all educational programs, that stems from the believe I have of the importance of engagement, if kids are engaged, it is more likely for them to develop an interest and a passion for whatever they are learning.
Although I believe there is truly no age limit to finding your gear, I still aim to maximize the exposure of youth to as much as possible at a young age to enable them to find their passion “Gear” as fast as possible.