When I was a kid, I used to follow my dad around asking questions: “Why?” “What is that?” “How?” He had an office in the back of the house full of wonderful gadgets, and encouraged my desire to take everything apart to see how it ticked. He was always ready to explain what he knew about electronics and machines, which to a young boy sounded like pure magic. Being allowed to ask, explore, tinker, hack, and even fail set me on the course to being a maker. I’ve carried on the tradition of encouraging my kids to ask questions and explore the healthy stash of electronics and gadgets I collect. Each of my three kids ...

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