“I want to just DO SOMETHING instead of asking someone else to start a process to investigate the possibility of someday possibly maybe doing something.” - Cory Doctorow, Makers

As a high school student in a city just outside Boston I never imagined that I could make cool things. Motivated by that experience I now hope to inspire young people to create and build. I have had the good fortune of living near the Brookline Teen Center (BTC), where I hope to realize that goal.

To start inspiring young people to become Makers I wanted to run a weekly class at the BTC that would have allowed students to create their own website and host it on individual Raspberry Pi’s. For example, the Raspberry Pi could have been connected to an LED that blinked every time the web server received a request. This could lay the foundation for students running the official Brookline Teen Center website. I started by creating hackthe.brooklineteencenter.org. Unfortuately, the class never got off the ground because I was not able to invest enough time to support the class without some help (e.g. promoting the class).

My hope is currently to teach a high school or middle school level course or after school program. Unfortuantely, the AP computer science course appears to simply be an introduction to Java. I would like to focus on Python, C, and C++ (in addition to numerous other tools) in an effort to build things and develop understanding of core conepts.


Explain the motivations for taking the class including the following:

Create interactive projects to develop interest in the class. For example, use the Laser Tag software designed by the Graffiti Research Lab (GRL) to promote the class, as I did in college (see The Sincerest Form of Flattery and Berlin Wall Commemoration)

Core concepts

Teaching goals

Reading list

This is a list of books that could form the basis of a class or be incorporated into other classes.

Read an article from Hacker News every week and discuss it in class. What bias may exist in this news source?

Project ideas

Field trips

Despite growing up just outside Boston I never realized the vast number of people creating creative and technical things. This list will hopefully form the basis of regular field trips to visit local makers. Students will learn about complex real world problems and be encouraged to participate in the creation of solutions. Like the Reading list above, these trips could be incorporated into other classes. In the spirit of creating something the students could work together to publish a book or magazine documenting these places.