An interview on Making with

Barry Romich

President, Romich Foundation

About Barry

Barry Romich is a graduate of the Case School of Engineering of Case Western Reserve University. He is co-founder of Prentke Romich Company, a developer and manufacturer of assistive technology for people with severe speech communication disability. Barry continues to support this population through his involvement with AAC Institute, a not-for-profit charitable organization. He is an avid supporter of making and has provided funding for maker spaces at Case Western Reserve University, University of Akron Wayne College, and Northwestern (Wayne County, OH) Local Schools. Barry’s interest in energy sustainability is evidenced by a 10+ KW grid tie solar PV array, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and various local charitable initiatives. He is a multi-engine instrument rated private pilot with about 2000 hours flying time, but no longer flies and he enjoys motorcycle riding. Romich Foundation provides financial support for: 1) Public schools, with particular interest in Wayne County, Ohio schools and programs involving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics); 2) Charitable organizations in Wayne County, Ohio, that address the needs of disadvantaged individuals; 3) National and international organizations working with people with disabilities who use AAC and other forms of assistive technology; 4) Sustainable energy initiatives; and 5) Programs that promote, encourage and support entrepreneurism in northeast Ohio.

What is Making?

Making is the process of converting an idea into a physical object or functtion. This, in turn, can MAKE a difference in people’s lives and MAKE the world a better place.

Who are Makers?

Makers are people who have ideas and want to turn them into reality. Makers are creative and innovative.

Why is Making important?

Making is the source of all forward progress.

What is an exciting example of Making and why?

Robotics competitions are a good example of Making. They provide a means of team participation for students who find STEM activities more meaningful than other traditional team activities. Robotics competitions also emphasize character development.

How is Making transforming education?

Making is an effective and exciting means of bringing reality to STEM education.

How can Making change my community?

I am personally creating a Maker Space that is already being used by friends in the community. It includes two laser engravers, metal and wood lathes and other tools, and a CNC router is on order. It is allowing these people to be more creative than before and is already supporting a new small business.

How does Making solve big problems?

Big problems can often be addressed using small initiatives by ordinary people with good ideas and the infrastructure to convert their ideas into reality.