Follow Your Passion? Think Again!

Follow Your Passion? Think Again!
I don’t like being told what to do…
But have you ever tried something just because you were told to try it?
Yeah, my mom told me just to try my asparagus.  It looked about as appetizing as a sliver of raw alligator.  Something inside told me this was not going to be good, but I knew that slimy green stalk of mushiness stood between me and playing outside.
So I took the plunge.  My mom was right that it didn’t kill me, but it did make me shiver like I’d just been thawed out from an iceberg.  However, the funny thing is that, today, I love asparagus. It’s one of my favorite veggies.
Who do I have to thank?  Yup!  My mom.
I think Alex felt the same way about Inventor Camp.  The week before camp, he got into trouble and had a little penance to pay.
So when his dad signed him up for Inventor Camp, Alex thought it was a punishment.  He put a good face on it, because I didn’t know the background story until after camp.  To me, Alex looked like he was having a great time.
After camp, Alex’s dad pulled me aside to tell me the story.
Evidently, Alex was pretty bummed out about missing part of his break doing “something dumb like Inventor Camp.”  So the first day, Alex was basically dragged kicking and screaming to start camp.
However, that did not last long.
After the first day, Alex went on and on about what he did that day, and on the second day, he was excited to get to camp to work on his project.  I ask myself the following question all the time.
Why the change?
I don’t have a crystal ball, and even if I did, I don’t think they work on teenagers!  My best guess is that just like me with the asparagus, my preconceived opinions were getting in my way.
Some of the best experiences I’ve ever had were because someone else said, “Steve, come on.  You’ve got to try this!”
Change your teen’s world this summer.  Send them to Inventor Camp–even if they have some preconceived opinions.  Signup at
Carpe Diem,
PS – Recently, Faith’s dad told me he originally thought Inventor Camp was like every other tech camp out there, but afterward he exclaimed, “This has been a life-changing experience for Faith.”  Sometimes kids have no idea what their passion even is until an adult helps them find it.
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Muahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! Ok, now that I have that out... I can get to work. For as long as I can remember, I have been making things. This habit used to be called "Inventing" but has lately been repurposed by the Maker community with the term "Maker". While there are some subtle differences between Inventing and Making, I have discovered my passion for both by inspiring a new generation of Makers. In this quest to spark creative thinking and problem solving through practical and exciting projects, I draw on my background in biomedical research, high energy fiber laser development, and 15 years of building laboratory devices. As an experimental physicist with a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, I have seen research and development from many angles and am now bringing that experience to middle school and high school students who want to make everything from catapults to cybernetic augmentations. Through the medium of Making and Inventing, students are transformed from passive observers of education to active learners. This powerful shift fosters deep insights, creative expression, collaborative thinking and a host of other skills that are difficult to learn in traditional settings. Along with my wife Debby, an accomplished constructivist educator, I am on a quest to transform education and am looking for like-minded collaborators to bring hands-on learning to future generations.

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