This summer, I helped start and organize the Summer of Making!
A little bit on what happened
In 1967, 100,000 people gathered in San Francisco for the Summer of Love. In 2020, we at Hack Club hosted the Summer of Making. It wasn't an event or a program. It was a theme for the summer and a challenge for students to take on. It was also a summer like no other, with hackers around the world stuck at home. To support makers, we distributed $50,000, thanks to GitHub, in free electronics (thanks GitHub!) & built Snapchat streaks for coding—but really Summer of Making was about the makers. We left it them to get hacking & they built some pretty awesome things…
(excerpt taken from the main website, check it out for more statistics and details)
While organizing it, I learned so many things about how much effort goes into organizing an event at this scale, and especially the reliability needed! It was an amazing experience, where I got to build out different workflows that needed to not only be functional, but scalable to a large distribution. It was definitely hard, but it was gratifying in a way I didn't know was possible. Especially looking at all the applications that came in for hardware, I was able to fully appreciate the breadth of what highschoolers and makers can actually get to doing, when serious!
This also just emphasized something that I've been thinking about for a while. The fact that programming/organizing/fundraising can actually be used to create a real difference in peoples lives, and impact them. For example, we managed to fundraise 50k, and ship hardware to almost 28 countries! Thats crazy for me to even think about, and the fact that people came into the community and helped with so much more. Not only that, but we started the creation of scrapbook, a type of status update system for Hack Clubbers to give status updates, which is such a big part of the community now, with over 5.5k posts/projects!
During a hard time like the pandemic, where people felt the hardest blow in inspiration and making, I'm glad I was able to make a difference and hopefully get more people into the cult of creating.