By Niña Abonal
This past November, I had the opportunity to attend NAGC’s Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Although the primary purpose of my trip was to learn more about the changing and ever-growing landscape of gifted education, I also had the privilege of listening to and meeting some amazing presenters and influential professionals in the field of gifted education.
One of the keynote speakers at the convention left a lasting impression on me and served as the inspiration for this blogpost. He was not only the youngest presenter at the convention, but he also seemed to embody what it truly means to be gifted and talented.
He introduced himself as Joey Hudy, a 17 year old student at Arizona State University and an active member of the Maker community. From a young age, he was fascinated with making things out of household materials and immersed himself in DIY engineering projects which lead to some great inventions, like his marshmallow launcher which he presented to President Obama at the White House.
His simple philosophy, “Don’t be bored…Make something!” further propelled him to create more amazing gadgets like his SMD Arduino Shield, 3x3x3 LED Cube Arduino Shield , and a prototype “smart” glasses which run by reading human thoughts. It was not surprising to also discover that he is currently the youngest intern in Intel’s New Devices Group product development program. I sat in amazement as Joey presented eloquently and knowledgeably about his experience and growth as a maker. Needless to say, I left Joey’s presentation feeling revitalized and inspired to delve into some DIY projects of my own.
The future definitely seems a little brighter with gifted and imaginative young people like Joey. There’s no doubt that Joey, and other young innovators like him, will pave the way for some ground-breaking technologies in the near future. If you want to know what Joey is making today, head over to his personal blog.
So what are you waiting for? Pull up your sleeves and get your creative juices flowing. Maker labs are popping up in cities nationwide. These labs serve as creative workspaces where makers of all ages and skill level can innovate, learn, design, and build things. They provide access to the necessary tools, resources, and equipment so you can bring some of your brilliant ideas to life! Check out some of the maker labs in Los Angeles County:
If making things isn’t quite your forte, you can still get a unique glimpse of some remarkable projects and get involved in the maker movement by attending a Maker Faire . Think of these family-friendly festivals as a cross between a county fair and science fair with a sprinkle of innovation. Hundreds of makers from all walks of life showcase and hold live demonstrations for their incredible creations. Maker enthusiasts, educators, students, tinkerers, hobbyists and people of all ages come out to participate in hands-on activities, meet the brilliant makers behind these one of a kind designs, and learn new skills.Here are a few resources to help kick start your next project: