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Bringing Music, and Making, to Chile

students work on their musical making projects

Nevan Hanumara, research scientist in Mechanical Engineering, at left, working with students in the Maker Musicales program.

Leilani Roser from the Edgerton Center’s K-12 MakerLab team is in Santiago, Chile, co-teaching the Makers Musicales program, a collaboration between the Edgerton Center, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and La Fundación Mustakis, a Chilean Arts nonprofit.

The free, week-long camp immerses teenagers in a maker community, where they learn the physics of sound, basic carpentry and electronics skills, and then design, build, and play their instrument.

“For many, it’s their first time handling tools like drills or saws, and even students who have handled tools or electronics before always learn something new. Everyone gets to watch each other making mistakes. We make a point of talking about it, and I think it pays off. No one leaves with exactly the instrument they originally envisioned, but they’re enthusiastic about creating something of their own, and the instruments keep getting more creative every time,” said Rosser.

One student remarked, “In the past few days we’ve investigated frequencies, how they’re made, the influence of science, technology and engineering, the physics of instruments, [and] how music has affected human evolution.”

— Camilla Brinkman, Edgerton Center