Today (June 18) is the White House Maker Faire!

America has always been a nation of tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. But in recent years, a growing number of Americans have gained access to technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools. These tools are enabling more Americans to design and build almost anything.

To celebrate America’s students and entrepreneurs who are inventing the future with these new technologies and techniques, the President is hosting the first-ever White House Maker Faire on Wednesday, June 18. The event will feature Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all ages who are using cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life.

The rise of the Maker Movement represents a huge opportunity for the United States. Nationwide, new tools for democratized production are boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in manufacturing, in the same way that the Internet and cloud computing have lowered the barriers to entry for digital startups, creating the foundation for new products and processes that can help to revitalize American manufacturing.

President Obama has proclaimed today, June 18, 2014, as National Day of Making, saying, “I call upon all Americans to observe this day with programs, ceremonies, and activities that encourage a new generation of makers and manufacturers to share their talents and hone their skills.” Read more…

In conjunction with today’s event, over 160 U.S. universities and colleges have pledged to expand opportunities to Make, as detailed in the report Building a Nation of Makers (PDF) With its 150-year history of hands-on eduction, no surprise that MIT is playing a leading role in this hot area. You can learn more about MIT’s Maker history, current strengths, and plans for the future, including its new Maker Portfolio option for admissions applications, at pp. 45-55 of the report.

In this report, several classes are cited as examples of MIT’s “hands-on academic enterprise.” You can explore these classes in OCW:

Additionally, two other cited classes with public websites (but not in OCW) are 2.009 Product Engineering Processes and MAS.863/4.140 How To Make (Almost) Anything.