Friday, December 7, 2012

DeSTEMber, Maker Spaces, and Ham Radio

Continuing the series of posts on why kids might want to check out ham radio, the second reason is... maker spaces!  Make Magazine and the maker community have done a great job over the last several years of promoting maker spaces.  These are loosely defined as community accessible spaces where people of similar interests can go to use various tools to build things.  When I started in science fair, I read magazines with ideas for electronics projects in them and then hung out at the electronics parts store a few blocks away from the library trying to find and learn about the various parts that went into the circuit, (my first science fair project wound up being a light activated burglar alarm).  Had I realized that many ham radio clubs were essentially maker spaces, I would have scored big time!

If you live in a town with a ham radio club, (ARRL geographical listing of ham radio clubs), then chances are that not only are there people that would love to talk to you about building electronic circuits and how they work, but that the club also has a place, (called  shack), to work on projects and a number of tools like oscilloscopes, (a gadget for measuring voltages in circuits, see above), and soldering irons on hand along with a number of spare parts.  Take a look at the Texas A&M ham radio club shack below.

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