[Noisebridge-discuss] unannounced groups of non-members at Noisebridge (esp. kids)

Christie Dudley longobord at gmail.com
Tue Jun 2 00:32:48 UTC 2009

On Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 4:43 PM, Jeremy Fitzhardinge <jeremy at goop.org> wrote:
Christie Dudley wrote:

> Noisebridge is not FOR children.  It is for hackers.  Helping people to
> understand this prevents Bad Things.
> [...]
> "I want us all to think about new and creative ways to engage young people
> in science and

Neat catch.  <grin>  I like your summary from "the other side".  It's funny,
but we really do agree.  I am realizing that the language I choose makes
people think I'm saying something other than what I am.  I don't hate kids,
but I don't want either the place to be full of them or people demanding I
tone it down "for the children!"  (Although ill-behaved kids really do
irritate me, and I will let you know in no uncertain terms that it's a
problem.)  I suppose it's useful to think about this.  I get the sense that
a number of folks in the space have starry-eyed ideas that we can hold open
classes for 8 year olds, as we're doing for adults, in the space with no

I think it's vitally important for us, either individually or collectively,
to work with kids, or at least towards educating them.  After all, these are
the people we're going to depend on when we get old, at least in some
fashion.  We just need to think more critically about how to do this.  I
know both aestitix and I have done significant reading in pedagogy and are
interested in child development as it pertains to creativity and

The problems with girls and the technical turnoff is a big thing for me, and
I often try to think of ways to prevent this.  Most of them have little to
do with the Noisebridge space, however.


"I want us all to think about new and creative ways to engage young people
in science and engineering, whether it's science festivals, robotics
competitions, fairs that encourage young people to create and build and
invent -- to be makers of things, not just consumers of things."

- President Obama in address to National Academy of Sciences April 27, 2009

> As a parent who's interested in deflecting the "science/engineering/hacking
> isn't for girls" meme before it can take hold, I think:
>   * the various posters, etc, are a non issue
>   * swearing in the space is a non-issue
>   * dangerous things need appropriate careful handling, regardless of
>     whether there's kids around
>   * kids who don't know the rules need to come with a supervisory
>     someone who can keep them out of trouble and teach them the rules
>   J
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