DIY for kids

Do you realize that everything created in the 14 billion years’ history of Universe – stars, planets, mountains, plants, brain – was created by simple laws of nature; but only in the last few thousand years have things been created in a different way? From Wheel and Fire to iPhone and Porsche, everything has been intelligently designed by the human brain. The creative power of human brain is unprecedented in the 14 billion history of the universe. Imagine that!

If we don’t know what is our purpose in this world, we can at least be certain that by creating something unique and new we are bringing something to the world that didn’t exist before. This was one thought behind why I started building 3DTin instead of all the other kinds of software one can build in today’s world. I wanted to create a software that will help others to create something out of it.

If there is one gift we can give to our children to empower themselves, it will be to inculcate creativity in them.

The DIY movement that is gaining strength around the world in past few years is popularizing the ethos of Do-It-Yourself. There is creativity in all of us, only it’s hidden in varying degrees from person to person. The DIY movement is helping people discover the hidden creative selves inside them.

So when I learnt about diy.org yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to learn what they are doing to encourage creativity in kids. For starters they have designed one gorgeous website.

The idea is to gamify DIY activities for kids, thus prodding them into making something on their own.

DIY.org enlists a wide variety of skills ranging from Astronomy, Chemistry to Sculpting and Rapid prototyping. Each skill category has handful of challenges. Kids can pick a skill of their choice and a challenge that they would like to tackle. They can work on their idea under that challenge and post a photo or video of the final result to their profile. Kids can rate each other’s works which earns them points.

The part I like is that the challenges are not puzzles; but rather a suggestion of a tool or a generic problem description like “Grow a Bacteria Culture” or “Design an Object with CAD“. This encourages open ended thinking in kids. 3DTin features as one of the challenges under the RapidPrototyper skill set. Kids can design a 3D model in 3DTin and post a screenshot of it to their DIY account as a project.

There are already tons of projects that kids have posted. Take a look at this one “da vincis  katapult” or this “Erector helicopter“.

Go ahead and introduce your kids to DIY.

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