Sylvia Todd – aka Super Awesome Sylvia – has been creating and making things since she was five. Sylvia, who learned how to solder when she was 7, also hosts her very own MAKE YouTube show.
Today, Bits & Pieces had the opportunity to interview the young Maker about DIY culture and Making at the very first White House Maker Faire – which Atmel is proudly attending.
Atmel: Who, or what inspired you to become a Maker?
Sylvia: I was inspired to be a Maker/make things when I went to the very first San Mateo Maker Faire in 2006 when I was 5. That event and the ones after it showed me that making is fun, interesting, and [helps] you learn lots of new skills. After that weekend, I wanted to solder and build and take apart things even more!
Atmel: How do you feel about being chosen to attend the very first Maker Faire at the White House?
Sylvia: I am so happy and honored that I was invited to attend the White House Maker Faire. It is pretty amazing that after being inspired by the Maker Movement to create my show back in 2009, I eventually became one of the people that helped others get into Making!
Atmel: How do you think the Maker Movement democratizes the tools and skills necessary to design and create just about anything?
Sylvia: I think the Maker Movement helps give us the knowledge resources to create lots of stuff, through sharing! The internet allows us to find and share projects, sell projects, and even show others how to make things. Sharing how to’s and project details really can inspire people to get out there and make something, even if it’s not exactly what they’re trying to make, it helps them learn by doing.
Atmel: What projects of yours are powered by Atmel-powered Arduino boards or stand-alone MCUs?
Sylvia: I have a book coming out next moth that shows three super simple Arduino projects for beginners, all using the Arduino Uno as the base. I am also going to use the Arduino in many other projects and might soon design a custom circuit board around the ATmega328 MCU for a kit. One of my older projects was an Arduino and GPS powered RC car that could navigate around my house, and one of my latest ideas is a sensor that senses when the mail truck comes and tells me by switching on a servo to ring a bell.
Atmel: How do you think the Maker Movement and DIY culture make the world a better place?
Sylvia: I think the Maker Movement will change the world because when you have lots of people thinking of new ideas or inventions and sharing their work and results, we could solve really big issues faster! Also when kids grow up in an environment of making, they’ll be more willing to fix or reuse things instead of just throwing them away, and they’ll be making themselves smarter about the world at the same time. Making stuff rocks!