My love of everything electronics started when I “had” to go visit my grumpy old grandfather on mom’s side, for two weeks when I had just turned 10.
He lived on a lake in SW Colorado during the summers. It was a nice cabin and about 3 days in, I played out the whole nature thing. But I had access to a canoe and was told where my grandpa’s wife’s sister lived across the lake.
So, my skinny butt in jean cutoffs and a t-shirt paddled across the lake to meet them.
They had a hot tub! Omg, I was in heaven…
So i played and played there. And then she came out and asked me what I was interested in and I said.. ‘I dunno, I like taking apart radios and appliances and stuff”.. I had no idea what made them tick so i pulled them apart.
She handed me a towel and told me to dry off, and took me to the ‘basement’…
And it was a glorious sight to behold…
Washed in white fluorescent light were cables, circuits and parts and parts and parts everywhere!
My eyes lit up. She said she needed to make a phone call as I browsed the cool stuff.
She got off the phone and turned to me and said “My son is an engineer with UpWithPeople.”
I didn’t know what an engineer was, but I listened as she described, roughly, as parents do when they don’t understand what it is “we” do.
And said “He would like you to look over there somewhere, there’s a box and it says “30-in-1 electronics project kit” and to grab it and open it up and read the first paragraph”
And that was it.. I was done… I had my life open before me.
So. Now, today…
A friend came by and saw my shack for the first time and mentioned their boy who is 12 is super excited about this stuff but doesn’t know where to begin, because of the pandemic etc. and just not having anyone to give him a push in the right direction.
I went to my shelf and pulled out my “200-in-1 Electronics Project Kit” and a blue powered proto board with leds and switches and 7400’s and a bundle of wires and handed them to his parents and said, give him this and tell him “Welcome to the club.”
I’m waiting to hear how that goes.
So what that means for us here at GridTracker.org, we are starting a “STEM” initiative, where you can choose to be a mentor and with a gentle hand show new people the world of technology and maybe they will get the “spark”, like you have.