Decatur Makers has introduced her to so much
Martha admits: She was a little timid at age 13.
That was the year her science teacher suggested she join Decatur Makers – and handed her an application for the Maker Scholar program.
“This was when Decatur Makers was still pretty new,” says Martha, now a junior at Decatur High. “It was this big open space with lots of shelves that held a bunch of random stuff. I thought it was cool that anyone in the community could come in and do something. I could just walk in, and no one would judge me.”
After being named a Maker Scholar, Martha was part of a team that invented a way for Decatur schools to offer new nutritional alternatives to cafeteria food. They put together a presentation of their idea – a healthy sandwich cart – for the Decatur School Board.
A year later, she and a friend were making M&M dispensers out of mason jars.
Then they started a club associated with the Society of Women Engineers – and the team is now hard at work building a car for the next Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby. She’s also joined Decatur High’s robotics team.
Martha credits Decatur Makers with helping her developer her skills and interests: “One of the first couple of times I went to the maker space, I was with my mom, and this guy came up to me and said, ‘Do you want to learn how to weld?’ So suddenly, I’m a 14-year-old, in shorts and flip-flops, holding an arc welder. It illustrates that with the Makers, anything is possible.”
Her favorite part about the maker space today is the CNC laser cutter. “It’s amazing because it can cut through most materials,” she says. “I was really excited about using it.”
Having been to Decatur Makers many times, Martha has gained a perspective on kids and teenagers being a part of the community.
“It’s important that young people learn how to make stuff,” she says. “And Decatur Makers needs the younger contingent to continue making things later in life. It also helps to have different perspectives in the space.”
Campaign ends Friday, Sept 211