Meet the Maker: Ameen Aydan

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As the Youth Programs Coordinator Intern, Ameen will be working with Jeramy to design and instruct programs for youth. He hopes to tweak the typical STEM camp by simplifying in-depth topics and providing the connections, tools, and learning from the mistakes of others, and being a conduit for continued learning. In today’s world, it’s crucial to bridge the introduction to STEM topics for kids, but equally so to direct them through the avenues to expand upon their potential interests.

What do you like to make?

There are so many everyday tools, components and objects that we choose to throw out. I like to prolong the life of the products around me and build things that I genuinely believe should be more accessible and/or reliable. Consumerism is a beneficial model in many cases, but it also creates a case for planned obsolescence. I hope to change this mentality with the things I create.

What do you want to build at Yukonstruct?

Something that leaves an impact. If someone remembers my name, that means I’ve built a connection. If I teach an interested student, I might have built a career.

As a side note, I really want to fix my backpack straps. The uneven length has been killing me!

Do you remember the first thing you made that you felt proud of?

In grade 6, our teacher introduced a “genius hour” every week to work on a project of our choosing. I spent 2 weeks building a simple generator that could barely power an LED. It’s not as cool as you’d think; it was a 4in-5in cardboard box with several thousand turns of 40 gauge wire and a neodymium magnet attached to a wood nail. I spent hours hand winding the coil, with 30-minute intervals when I inevitably broke the wire.

Finishing the project gave the same satisfying feeling of cutting the perfect lawn. It was something that I did myself and it worked like literal magic. Why would I ever need to buy a TV, bike or car? I could just make these things myself from now on!

Dialling back a bitit was a proud accomplishment that left me with a fighting spirit; not against school, the government or the lack of pizza parties. Rather, the experience fostered a fight with the notion that we can’t make things cause they’re too complicated and we can’t bargain with the “proprietary” trade secrets. I think Ron Swanson says it best.

Thanks for sharing these, Ameen!