Make Magazine

6 Aug

Bibliographic Information

Make Magazine quarterly magazine published by O’Reilly Media

Plot Summary

Make magazine was first published in January, 2005.  It is the leading magazine of the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement, which encourages people to create a variety of projects involving woodworking, metalworking, sewing, electronics, computers, robotics and other “arts and crafts.” Every issue includes step-by-step instructions for completing projects in a variety of disciplines.  In addition, the magazine profiles successful DIY creators and their innovative inventions.  There are reviews of the latest tools and books as well. The magazine has an online site with a wealth of ideas (http://makezine.com/) and sponsors the annual Maker Faire every year in San Mateo, California.

Critical Evaluation

Make magazine is the print equivalent of the best science or shop class you’ve ever taken.  For anyone who loves to invent, create, or tinker, it’s a great resource of ideas and inspiration.  The projects are inventive and interesting and will inspire budding DIYer to dig through the garage looking for tools and materials to try out some of the designs.  The most recent issue includes instructions for building:

  • A 4-way surveillance system for your home and view images over the web
  • A notification alert system to nag you to do your chores (isn’t that what parents are for?)
  • A radio controlled flying airplane
  • Sturdy furnishings with PVC pipe
  • A Yakitori grill
  • A bacteria battery

The writing in the magazine is informal and non-threatening.  I don’t possess a lot of technical know-how, but I was able to follow the directions easily.  The only drawback is that some of the projects require a lot of materials, some of them costly and not available at the corner store.  For example, the “Bacteria Battery” requires a MudWatt Hacker Board which I would have no idea where to get.  Not all of the projects require this level of know-how, but the more sophisticated ones may necessitate help from a science or shop teacher.

Reader’s Annotation

Tired of being a consumer and not a producer?  Challenge your creative and building skills with some projects from Make Magazine.  You’ll discover a variety of cool and innovative projects that you can make yourself.  From your own surveillance system to Yakitori grill, you’ll find lot of ideas here to help you unleash your inner inventor.

Genre

DIY project based magazine

Curriculum Ties

Science

Booktalking Ideas

N/A

Reading Level / Interest Age

Grade 9 and up

Challenge Issues

N/A

Why did I include this title?

I believe that libraries need to offer students more resources for creation, not just memorization and regurgitation.  Make Magazine is a terrific resource for kids interested in the kinds of projects done in a garage, rather than a classroom.  It inspires creative thinking and inventiveness, which we need more of in schools.

 

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