Want to Join the Maker Movement? Start with These Books

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If you haven’t heard of the Maker Movement yet, you might be scratching your head…the Maker Movement is all about creating things on our own, using our own hands and our own creativity. Easier said than done, sometimes—but here are six Maker-themed books that will inspire you and yours to build something, or take your Making to the next level.

Best of Make: Volume 2
For a decade now, Make Magazine has been the flagship of the Maker Movement, offering practical advice, detailed guides, and plenty of great ideas for anyone who wants to take an active role in building the world around them. Best of Make compiles the best projects, articles, and information from those ten years, making it the ideal entry point for both neophyte Makers seeking to get serious in their hobby and lifestyle as well as the complete newcomer who’s just trying to get his head around the Maker Movement in the first place. From a list of must-have tools to building your own robots, Best of Make is the perfect place to start.

Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery, by Charles Platt
Making may sound like a pleasant old-school hobby, but let’s face it: we live in the modern world. You might want to build a robot, a drone, or some sort of machine that fetches cold beverages from the fridge for you at the press of a button. To make those sorts of things, you need a basic understanding of electronics, and this book gives you the instructions you’ll need, from how to set up a workshop, to the tools and components required, to a solid foundation of knowledge that will set you on the path to Making everything from wearable electronics to home alarms and even your own programmable holiday lights, like all the cool kids on the internet.

Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation, by AnnMarie Thomas
Making isn’t just about amusing yourself with things like your dream of a robot that passes butter at the dinner table. It’s also about education and laying the foundation for a more knowledgeable, more active society. Making Makers offers up the background, history, and practical advice needed to get both you and your kids interested and involved in Making. Everything you need to get everyone enthusiastic and excited is right here in one convenient location, including a brief history of the movement and biographies of the key names you’ll start to hear all the time as you delve deeper into the world of Making. If your dream is to be a Maker with your children or students, this book offers up the necessary tools and background in fun, readable prose that makes everything clear and concise.

Make: The Annotated Build-It-Yourself Science Laboratory, by Windell Oskay
Back in the 1960s, Raymond E. Barrett wrote an incredible book that taught you how to build your own scientific laboratory. Make has re-published this classic book with annotations and other additions that make it just as exciting and useful today as it was fifty years ago. Here you’ll find a step-by-step guide for creating your own real lab, where you can engage in real experiments and do real science. Whether you have kids who are dying to play with science and become Makers, or you were that kid, this book is the perfect place to go for practical, DIY advice.

Make: Getting Started with littleBits, by Ayah Bdeir and Matt Richardson
In the computer programming world, no one starts from scratch: they use libraries of existing code to replicate basic functions. littleBits are a similar concept in the physical space: small electronic modules that can be connected in infinite ways to combine into surprisingly intricate and complex machines. This great resource gives you everything you need to get started with littleBits straight from co-founder Ayah Bdeir, starting with just the right amount of electronics knowledge and including plenty of simple, practical demonstrations of the possibilities to fire up your own imagination.

Making Simple Robots, by Kathy Ceceri, Anna Gerber, David Resseguire, and Emily Rose
This book is predicated on one powerful idea: you don’t need to be an engineer or a scientist to build a robot—anyone can do it! Covering the basics of soldering components, simple programming, and other basics, this book will have you creating simple robots in no time, whether to accomplish simple tasks, for your amusement, or possibly to create a robot army with which to take over your neighborhood. Whatever your goals, this book will give you all the basic skills and information you need to become a robot Maker.

Making isn’t for nerds—it’s for anyone who has ever wanted to build something they could not find in the store, or repair something rather than buy new, or turn a dream into reality. These books will give you everything you need to set your Maker imagination free.

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