'Super-Awesome' Sylvia and Her Dad, James
Lots of kids make things, but not every kid shares her making adventures, skills and tips with the world through her very own Web show. That’s one of things that makes “Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show,” starring sixth-grader Sylvia, so cool.
“Get out there and make something!” is Sylvia’s mantra in the videos, which are co-produced by her dad, James. From their home in northern California, they started the show together in 2010 as a fun project to do over the summer. Since then, they’ve produced numerous videos in which Sylvia shows step-by-step how to tackle various hands-on projects, like making rockets, screen prints, copper etchings, a no-heat lava lamp, crazy putty, a cardboard periscope, and even simple electronic devices. In the process of making things and learning how things work, Sylvia and her audience pick up concepts relating to science, math, and other subjects—not to mention experience, confidence, and self-reliance.
We caught up with Sylvia and her dad at the 2012 Constructing Modern Knowledge Institute for educators in Manchester, New Hampshire, where Sylvia was appointed a faculty member and guest speaker. Since making her first video, she’s become a darling of the technology and “maker” communities online. She was featured on the cover of MAKE magazine (swinging on a build-it-yourself zip line), and then created a series of mini-shows for the magazine’s website. She’s also been written about in BoingBoing, Wired and TechCrunch, among other places.
But Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show isn’t just a product of a spunky wunderkind; it sprang from a father-daughter team. Sylvia brings ideas, spirit, and hard work, and her dad—a self-taught computer programmer who started rewiring electronics at a young age—adds guidance and professional-quality audio-video production. The result: videos that engage kids and adults alike.
To learn more about what makes Sylvia “super-awesome,” watch the above video