Seminal Videos for Makers of All Ages

Neil Gershenfield – Unleash Your Creativity (from TED 2006)

Before anyone was talking about 3D printing and “design thinking,” MIT’s Gershenfield wrote, Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication, in which he predicted the next major technological revolution – personal fabrication. This work, along with his course, “How to Make Almost Anything,” set the stage for what has become the “maker movement” and “fab labs.”

Leah Buechley – How to Sketch with Electronics (TEDYouth 2011)

It is impossible to overstate Dr. Buechley’s influence. Her work has been committed to making interactivity, creativity, and intelligence accessible to underserved communities and new materials. She is a pioneer in wearable computing and e-textiles as the inventor of the Lilypad Arduino. Her former students have created new maker materials like Circuit Stickers and the Circuit Scribe pen. Her book Sew Electric, is THE book for soft-circuit making and programming.

Gary Stager – Strategies for Hands-on Learning (San Mateo Maker Faire 2012)

Dr. Gary Stager is interviewed by Steve Hargadon about learning-by-making, effective project-based learning, and bringing making to the classroom.

Super-Awesome Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show (2009)
Super-Awesome Sylvia has inspired millions to “go out there and make something.” Her Super Simple Arduino episode, made when she was eight years-old explained microcontroller programming to me!

Mike Eisenberg’s Keynote from the Constructionism 2012 Conference in Athens, Greece
Dr. Eisenberg was Leah Buechley’s teacher and a veteran advocate for learning-by-making. This speech, presented at the 2012 Constructionism Conference, places making in an important educational, theoretical, and playful context.

Mike Eisenberg at Constructionism 2012 from Gary Stager on Vimeo.

Seymour Papert Introduces LEGO TC Logo Robotics (circa 1987)

Seymour Papert’s keynote at Mindfest (MIT 1999)
In 1999, the MIT Media Lab hosted Mindfest, a weekend of learning through making and tinkering not unlike the Maker Faires which would appear nearly a decade later. This is rare video of Dr. Papert’s keynote address from that event.

Seymour Papert Keynote Address at Mindfest (1999) from Gary Stager on Vimeo.

Gary Stager – Seymour Papert: Inventor of Everything* (TEDx ASB – Mumbai 2014)
Gary Stager’s TEDx tribute to his friend, mentor, and colleague, Seymour Papert.

Nicholas Negroponte’s Five Predictions for the Future (TED 1984)

Negroponte invented the MIT Media Lab where many of the other speakers on this page worked, learned, taught, or invented. In 1984, his two hour-long TED Talk (before the 18-minute limit was imposed) makes five predictions for the future; four of which have been realized.

Mitchel Resnick Moderates a Conversation about Powerful Ideas Between Alan Kay and Brian Silverman (MIT Media Lab MOOC – 2013)
Professor Mitchel Resnick, creator of Scratch and co-inventor of the first programmable LEGO robotics system, is now the LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab where he directs the Lifelong Kindergarten Research Group. Resnick moderated a conversation between Alan Kay, the inventor of the personal computer, and master bricoleur Brian Silverman, creator of dozens of programming environments for children, as part of his Learning Creative Learning course. You will watch this one several times!

Edith Ackermann’s Constructionism 2010 Keynote Address (Paris)
Dr. Ackermann is an expert on childhood, play, design, and learning. She worked with Piaget, Papert, and Von Glasserfeld. Her talks are always interesting, informative, and challenging.

Edith Ackermann – Constructionism 2010 from Gary Stager on Vimeo.

Margaret Wertheim: – The Beautiful Math of Coral (TED 2009)

This TED Talk captures the spirit of the maker movement in an exploration of how crocheting led to discoveries of the natural world and solved a problem plaguing mathematicians for more than a century.

Schuyler St. Leger – Why I Love My 3D Printer (2011)
Ten year-old Schuyler St. Leger’s hilarious Ignite Talk explains his affection for 3D printing.

Leah Buechley’s explosive keynote address from FabLearn 2013 at Stanford University

Dr. Buechley’s keynote challenges the “Maker community” to confront its assumptions and prejudices if making is to achieve its stated goals and potential.

Gary Stager’s keynote address, “Making School Reform” from FabLearn 2013 at Stanford University

Paulo Blikstein’s keynote address, “Research on Making” from FabLearn 2013 at Stanford University
Dr. Blikstien is doing truly important research into learning-by-making. This keynote shares some of that scholarship.

Compiled by Gary Stager