Jun 24, 2014
Congratulations to our friend and one of QGITS favorite local Entrepreneur, Maker and Inventor -Vocademy - The Makerspace founder/CEO Gene Sherman received an official invitation as an honored maker to attend the first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18th. In 2011, he did a TEDx Talk titled “The Importance of Making Things” and it felt very surreal to him that he was at the White House listening to President Obama saying the exact same thing. He represented Vocademy and their mission to promote “education-focused” makerspaces. He was one of the 80 Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs selected to attend the first White House Maker Faire.
QGITS spoke with Gene via phone to ask him about his incredible experience at the White House Maker Faire and what it meant to him to be at the forefront in celebrating a nation of makers that day.
Photo by: Vocademy
QGITS: What is it like to be there in DC for the 1st-ever Maker Faire Summit and to hear the President speak in person?
Gene Sherman: The amazing thing is that they are doing this. The White House is finally acknowledging how important making things are for this country. To hear the President use the same words I have been using for years is really very reassuring. It was very cool to see him in person, I was about 20 ft away in a room full of maybe 120 people and he spoke at the State Floor in the East Room of the White House. He has a great sense of humor, he said some really nice things, he made a lot of sense, he wasn’t very political and what he said was very common sense.
Click here to watch or hear President Obama speak at the White House Maker Faire.
QGITS: As a Maker, Innovator & Entrepreneur what were some of your favorite highlights from the Maker Faire event?
Gene Sherman: Everyone at this event, really felt that this whole maker movement is about to go big. For years I have been trying to teach people about the term “Makerspace” and what it means and now the President actually used it in his speech and then in his proclamation. He also just announced June 18th is the official Day of Making and to be just a part of that – was just incredible. Most of the people attending were the leaders of the Maker Movement and to be around that and smiling at each other that this is about to go mainstream..is very special. The goal is getting more adults and kids involved into hands on making things.
QGITS: Anything else you would like to mention that you took away from the Maker Faire?
Gene Sherman: We all realize how important this is too our country, we all realize that is goes beyond just entertaining ourselves by tinkering. That as a country we need to have more Makers and Innovators. Almost everyone agreed that we need to get our kids using their hands whether they are going to college or not..if they want to be a doctor, a mechanic or anyone else we need to start letting them play. We also thought that schools are becoming very boring and rigorous and we agreed that playtime also becomes your passion eventually in life. Until middle and high schools bring back hands-on shop classes, we would like to fulfill that role and offer our facility to everyone.