An interview on Making with

Sylvia Aguiñaga

Director of Curriculum, DIY Girls

About Sylvia

I'm the Director of Curriculum for DIY Girls, a non-profit that provides hands-on tech experiences for girls in Los Angeles. There, I develop curriculum, run after-school and library programs, and create resources for kids and parents. My hobby is computer programming. I believe that coding gives people a creative way of looking at the world. It empowers us to make, rather than passively consume and it encourages us to work together. On my free time, I love to draw creatures, make beats, and collage videos using the programming language, Processing. As an aspiring Youth Librarian, I like to share and discuss ideas about technology and literacy. 

What is Making?

Making means using your head, hands, and heart to create something meaningful. 

Who are Makers?

Everyone who is willing can make. Those who need guidance can be inspired to make. 

Why is Making important?

Making makes us who we are. When you make, you explore your own interests and seek out new ideas. 

What is an exciting example of Making and why?

Making is exciting when it leads to collaborating. At the start of our program, 10-yr-old DIY Girl Wendy was very dependent on our instruction. Every session, we reminded her of the importance of DIY, “doing it yourself”. We emphasized that you learn by doing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do things alone. One day, after learning how to sew a simple circuit, Wendy came in with an LED stocking she had made with her mom. She went on to tell us that she taught her mom about “all the electrical stuff” and her mom taught her how to sew. Together, they made something useful and meaningful. I find this example particularly powerful because it shows us that making can happen across generations. It can bring us closer to the ones we love and empower us to keep going. 

How is Making transforming education?

Making creates space to make connections. It allows us to discover the things that motivate us to learn more. When we make, we are given the tools to shape our own education. 

How can Making change my community?

Making gives us a voice to express the needs, wants, and rights of our community. We can create tangible products that lead to real change. 

How does Making solve big problems?

Making leads you to think of big ideas. It gives you the confidence and drive necessary to tackle big problems. With the maker mindset, you see things and ask, “Why?” & “How?” You break an issue down into smaller, more workable pieces and apply the tools you have to make something work.