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DIY Industrial Lamps; Ben Completes his Wood-Fired Hot Tub; See How YouTube Maker Videos are Made and More
Industrial LampsWow this is a cool one. Laura Kampf takes some old gas canister caps and steel bar stock, then transforms them into lamps with an accordion extending mechanism: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ML9_cjzO3B4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">DIY Wood Fired Hot Tub Wow again! Ben Uyeda rings up a DIY wood-fired hot tub with stuff from the big box store: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HMjpWlgcK-M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Burying A Compressed Air Line We've seen April Wilkerson work on objects, walls, floors, ceilings and staircases, and here she tackles the ground. Goal: Bury a compressed air line to connect her compressor to her husband's shop 30 feet across the yard. As always, she makes it look easy: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8M5WCailriY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Using a Furnace Fan for Shop VentilationHere the Samurai Carpenter shows you an inexpensive (assuming you're, er, tossing an oil furnace) way to get powerful shop ventilation: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lLfxKhJUgbk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Things Learned from First Homemade BandsawIf you don't have a head for engineering--look away! Here Matthias Wandel takes an exhaustive look at his very first bandsaw build, explaining errors he made during the building process, identifying design flaws and showing how he corrected them in subsequent iterations: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4d_EN4jB_BI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Big Bandsaw Build, Part 6Speaking of bandsaws, here Wandel finishes up the build of his large bandsaw, hacking up a blade enclosure from an old printer and adding a dizzying amount of final cladding: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WWOjswxPMO0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Rolling Planer Stand John Heisz builds a rolling stand to hold his planer. Part of the fun of watching Heisz's videos is all of the homemade contraptions and tools he uses; watch out for his bar clamps, tilting outfeed thingamajig and his box joint jig: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IT9xJrJObsc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">"How I Make My Videos, From Project Design to Upload"This is a long video, but an informative one for those of you seeking to join the ranks of YouTube makers. Here Steve Ramsey details all of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes and shows you what it takes, from a time perspective, to produce weekly build videos: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bfBTqZZxuoo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;"> [...]



Pick 5 Ultimate Gift Guide: Week 4 Winners
The last week of our Ultimate Gift Guide competition is finally here! We're closing our weekly wins competition with a bang: today, four winners are taking home candles from Keap, the sustainably concerned candle company based in Brooklyn (also whose co-founder Stephen Tracy created his own awesome list for us this year). Keap candlesMake your own Ultimate Gift Guide here by 11:59 PM EST tonight (December 9th)Here is our last round of weekly winners before we announce the Monday the winners of the big enchilada prizes.... Aaron Tuck's artisan home baker guide offers up some quality and inexpensive tools for making your own bread at home! Because we can't just be designing 24 hours of the day 7 days a week... Christopher Hanks taps into the current craving for 80's nostalgia in pop culture with his "For the 80's Kids Who Never Grew Up" list, and we couldn't be happier to see it within the gift guides. For kids today or even adults who act like kids, a Rubik's cube or NES Classic are the perfect go-to gifts!Find some great design-friendly objects for your holiday party via J Rosen's cocktail-centric "Drink Up" gift guide. We're partial to the Matterhorn glasses that bring an interesting twist to your traditional whiskey glass. Submitted a couple weeks ago, this gift guide by Graeme Reid supports the local by sourcing gifts direct out of Glasgow. All of the items in this list are persuading us to take a trip to check out all the great design in Scotland....A special thanks to all the winners above and other Core77-ers out there who have helped us find some great and unexpected gifts for the holidays! Remember—you still have a few hours to submit! Send in your gift guide by 11:59 PM TONIGHT (December 9th) and you could be in the running to win an Amazon Echo or GoPro! Make your own Ultimate Gift Guide here[...]



A Vintage-Style Toolbox, a "Slick" Tool Restoration, a Tilting Router Base, Portable Solar Charging and More
A Slick MakeoverHere's an impressive one: Jimmy DiResta takes an old "slick" (basically a huge timber-framing chisel) that has suffered a grievous accident, then repairs the damage to return it to service. Check out the very clever ways in which he 1) extends the conical socket, and 2) takes an impression of the inside in order to turn a tenon that will fit within it: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/F45I18IDsLA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">How (and Why) to Make a Tilting Router BaseLeave it to Izzy Swan to figure out how to make a cutting tool cut in a new, unexpected way. You might not have a need for the object he makes here, but just watch how he cuts some of the elements: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k9rtVHuV9ZI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Here's how he made the tilting router base: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gS1EZaOZYQ8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Making DrawersFrank Howarth whips up a functional set of divided drawers to stow his camera gear in the shop, minus the dust: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JZ41I33-Q_Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Adding an Ergonomic Improvement to DrawersPrompted by a viewer, Frank sets about solving an ergonomic problem by modifying the drawers after they've been built: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uSzGb7q-PqI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Vintage Style Tool Box Inspired by old camera housings, Linn from Darbin Orvar creates a vintage-style toolbox to house all of her leatherworking tools: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JVpyJm8fA0g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Portable Solar Panel Charging System for Tool Roll Linn breaks out the sewing machine--and the electrical tools, creating a tool roll that can not only hold her electronic gear, but charge it via two built-in solar panels she rigs up: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JtVdK3HH_Vs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;">Gift Box BuildThis giftgiving season Jay Bates goes the extra mile, painstakingly crafting a series of hinged wooden gift boxes: width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B40TxRvs97c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" style="height: 371.25px; width: 660px;"> [...]



Remembering John Glenn, Visualizing the Growth of Our Population and Tracking the Product Lifecycle of "New York's Coffee Cup" 

Core77's editors spend time combing through the news so you don't have to. Here's a weekly roundup of our favorite stories from the World Wide Web.

The Life, Death and Rebirth of "New York's Coffee Cup"

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Before I ever moved to New York, my iconic image of the city was not the Statue of Liberty nor the Empire State Building—no, it was the classic Greek paper coffee cup that famously reads, "We Are Happy to Serve You". Unbeknownst to me, the Anthora cup was apparently the origin of to-go coffee cup culture, and this classic design only came back into existence 10 years ago! This article fascinatingly explains why, and more.

—Allison Fonder, community manager

How We Became More Than 7 Billion

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A short video visualizing the growth of human population across the globe since the dawn of humanity.

—Stuart Constantine, publisher and managing partner

Remembering John Glenn

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Today we are remembering John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. NASA put together a collection of videos and articles that give an overview of his fascinating life.

—Emily Engle, editorial assistant

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Different Design Approaches to the Transforming Library Chair
You've undoubtedly seen one of these before. It's a chair that's cleverly designed to turn into a stepladder. In the 'States, everyone from Home Depot to Sam's Club to Hammacher-Schlemmer sells one. Americans like to say it was invented by Benjamin Franklin, but 18th-Century examples also exist in Europe, where Franklin traveled; so it's not clear who got the idea from whom. In America it's often called a Franklin Library Chair while in the UK they call it Library Steps or the Metamorphic Library Chair, absent Franklin's name.While the mechanical components of this chair are established, it is interesting to see how designer-builders can play with the parts in between to yield very different appearances. Here's the American mass-market version:Not terribly easy on the eyes, but functional enough. You can buy slightly more expensive versions from independent workshops like this one:Image by Lake City Woodworkers I'm not crazy about how the piano hinge intrudes on the seat in the chair configuration, and glares at you in the ladder position, but I suppose that's subjective.Here is a decidedly more modern-looking one by Italy's Morelato:And here's an antique version (circa 1880) from the UK. You'll notice it's got those stopped chamfers Joel was talking about:Image by Graham Smith Antiques Image by Graham Smith Antiques Image by Graham Smith Antiques Image by Graham Smith Antiques "The chair has a brass locking rod that keeps the frame locked in the chair position. When the rod is released the back of the chair tips forward until it is vertical and becomes a set of library steps. The brass locking rod is then put back in place to keep the steps locked in position." —Image and text by Graham Smith Antiques None of these designs really look elegant, at least to my eye. But I was surprised to come across this fine-looking Regency period version from the UK:I consider this a fine example of design. The hinges are largely concealed and do not intrude on the seat bottom. Its secondary functionality as a ladder is not obvious unless you know to look for it. It has a style—whether or not it's your style, it is a style—and perhaps most importantly, it fulfills both of the functions for which it was originally designed.Meaning, the chair was designed for readers. It was meant to be used in libraries, or in the homes of folks who owned so many books that their storage had expanded upwards to tall shelves that could not be easily reached from the ground. All of the chairs we've seen here have the ladder functionality, but it is only this last example, with the upholstered seat, that looks like it would actually be comfortable enough to sit and read a book in.Think you can do better? Popular Mechanics has a brief tutorial on how you can build your own. Image by Popular Mechanics Image by Popular Mechanics [...]



Sloyd Education Theory: Making Things With Your Hands Makes You Smarter
I love learning, and I hate school. Sitting in a classroom while a teacher drones on is my idea of torture. It's unnatural and it's boring. But if there's a physical problem to solve—let's say I'm making something in the shop, and it keeps breaking, and I have to find things to read/listen to/watch in order to figure out why, and then I make it and it doesn't break, I love that. Otto Salomon, a revolutionary Swedish educator in 19th-Century Sweden, also realized that classrooms were boring. He also found that children misbehaved as a result. According to an International Bureau of Education document published by UNESCO, Salomon looked upon the contemporary elementary school as being too theoretical—and even that in a most insubstantial way since factual knowledge was learned by heart and repeated. This rote learning of pure facts led to the children adopting negative attitudes towards the school and towards each another: vanity, arrogance and bullying behaviour were commonplace. The children also suffered from being seated for long periods without any physical activity.A child has a desire for both knowledge and activity. These needs are met when manual work is introduced into the conventional school curriculum.With this in mind, Salomon formed a training school for teachers in 1875 with a unique mission: The teachers themselves were taught handcrafts—slöjd in Swedish, "sloyd," Anglicized—so that they could in turn teach these to their pupils. Salomon's concept was that there was a connection between creating things with your hands and cognitive development, that each would help improve the other. Salomon was intrigued by the idea of making physical work an element in general education. He considered any person who did not have a sound training in general dexterity as only half-educated. We learn most effectively by activity—by doing things with our hands—and this knowledge should be acquired through self-education. Manual labour at school should provide an all-round education to everybody. This will be difficult for present-day NYC parents to understand, as schools here have metal detectors; but the first thing children in a slöjd curriculum were given was knives. This was not a big deal in 19th-century Sweden, which was still largely agrarian. "We begin with the knife because we consider it the easiest tool for children to employ, since they have already been in the habit of using it," Salomon said. Children raised on farms had already handled knives for domestic chores and helping the family put food on the table. And after learning to competently whittle wood with a knife, the children could then graduate to more advanced tools.There was also a fantastically functional element in this education. The items Salomon's curriculum called for pupils to make were not birdhouses and toys, but practical items: "Rakes, hammer handles, benches, tables, spoons, etc.—appliances needed in everyday household and farm activities."Which is not to say that children were meant to be turned into hardware stores; it was their development that was the goal, with functional objects produced during this development a mere fringe benefit. "The teacher must pay attention to the child's reactions, behaviour and development. The child must be the focus of attention, and not the tools, the techniques or the products. What is happening to the child during the work process should be the principal interest."Also interesting about the slöjd system was that it was intended to cultivate something sorely lacking in, say, American education today: An appreciation for the actual aesthetics of physical objects. "In elementary schools, children should receive the elements of an aesthetic education," Salomon wrote. "Objects badly made or badly proportioned, and yet nicely ornamented, are really exceedingly ugly. It is far more important that children should be able to judge when models are well-design[...]



Ditch Those Sketchy Plastic Bags—Greenskeeper Offers a New Cannabis Storage Solution
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As medical and recreational use grows, options for home storage remain outdated and ineffective at storing and preserving cannabis. Introducing Greenskeeper a uniquely functional storage system designed specifically for cannabis users. Wine and tobacco lovers have a multitude of high-quality solutions to properly store their collections yet cannabis consumers are left using plastic bags, food containers and glass jars. This was the impetus that led to develop Greenskeeper for Santa Cruz Bakeware

View the full content here(image)



Transforming Furniture from the Amish: A Stepstool that Turns Into an Ironing Board

It's unknown if this is an original Amish design, being that it's sold online and we're pretty sure the Amish are not allowed to have websites. But a company called Barn Furniture Mart is selling this stepstool that transforms into an ironing board and is Amish-crafted.

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It's a tad pricey at $370, though it is made out of solid oak. Red oak, to be precise; if you want it made from quarter-sawn white oak or cherry, that adds another $280 to the price.

I think it's cool that we live in a society where Amish furniture can be sold online, but I do wonder what the markup is.


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Creepy Art to Celebrate Surviving Krampusnacht
Another Krampusnacht passed, and you made it! And there's still a few weeks left in 2016. You must have done a lot of good this year, or maybe Krampus just had his hands full elsewhere. Festive!Krampus is everybody's new favorite old world holiday sprite, and he's kind of a jerk. Though he's a relative newcomer to American pop culture, he and his child-stealing ways have been celebrated in the Austro-Bavarian region for hundreds of years, and most holiday historians trace his lineage to pre-Christian rites. Unlike our more passive aggressive relationship with Santa (who's clearly in the pocket of Big Coal), bad kids in the Alps get beaten by a goat demon with a very upsetting tongue, and the worst are scooped up and taken away in a magically expansive sack. So he does have some tricks in common with St. Nick.To celebrate this cheery and reflective holiday, it's common to exchange Krampuskarten, or Krampus cards, and dress up as your favorite interpretation of Krampus himself. Here are a few old and new interpretations that show why we're grateful to have escaped Krampus's clutches for another year, even if we didn't deserve it.SportyRitchey BeckettAdam ReynoldsScott BensonYikesDouble yikesTriple yikesHappy Holidays![...]



LAST CALL: Win an Amazon Echo or Go Pro for Your Pick 5 Ultimate Gift Guide

Win yourself an awesome gift this holiday with Core77's Pick 5 Ultimate Gift Guide! Share an interesting themed holiday wishlist with us by TONIGHT for a chance to win awesome prizes including an Amazon Echo or a GoPro! Submissions are due tonight (December 9th) by 11:59 PM EST and winners will be announced this Monday, December 12th. 

Later day around 4 PM EST, we'll also be announcing 4 weekly winners who will be taking home a candle from Keap!

You have two different opportunities to win:

Community Choice Prize

Create a gift guide and get your friends to vote for you (Tweet something like, "Just submitted my @Core77 Ultimate Gift Guide! Help me win by voting for mine before midnight here: www.core77.com/ultimategiftguide #C77GiftGuide". The guide with the most votes will be the winner of either an Amazon Echo or GoPro!

Editor's Pick Prize

One winner will be chosen by the Core77 Editors to win the grand prize. Key to winning this prize? Pick gifts under a solid, interesting and fun theme and catchy title to catch our editors' eyes! 

What are you waiting for? The showdown ends tonight at 11:59PM EST.

Make your holiday wishlist now!

Again, here's how to win:
1. Create a Gift Guide.
2. Get your friends to vote for you!
3. On December 12th, a community choice winner and top editor's picks will win grand prizes like a GoPro or Amazon Echo!
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Design Job: Turn Up the Heat! Nest is Seeking an Industrial Designer in Palo Alto, CA
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The Nest industrial design team is looking for a talented Designer. We are passionate about reinventing unloved but important home products by redefining human interaction and its aesthetic quality with strong attention to detail. The Work: At Nest you will collaborate closely with

View the full design job here(image)



Jayda Hany's Connector Collection Draws Parallels Between Footwear and Architecture
"Boot"Footwear designer, Jayda Hany, started off aspiring to be a womenswear designer, but her aspirations changed while studying architectural engineering The American University in Cairo. It was in school that she started to realize the close connection between footwear design and architecture—she had, "always viewed the shoe as a moveable, small-scaled structure." After finishing at the American University in Cairo, she went on to study footwear design at the London College of Fashion.The transition from architectural engineering to footwear design was a big one, but she quickly noticed similarities between the two design processes, "I realized that footwear design and architectural/structural design are exactly the same regarding the design process—the research, the detailing, etc. The only difference would be the scale.""Winglet"Hany's Connector collection points out something we often forget about shoes—their main function is to hold our weight. Her use of non-glamorous screws, rivets and 3D printed plastics screams, "this is how I was made" to the wearer. Highlighting the making process in a final design is something not often seen in the footwear realm, so this in-your-face take on the subject is refreshing. And the shoes are even attractive! The clunky materials come together to create beautiful forms that are surprisingly streamlined."Vortex" detail"Vortex" heelArchitecture is a clear inspiration for the collection, but it runs deeper than you'd think—Hany's material choices and colors were specifically chosen to reinforce her architectural theme. In her own words:"Connector is inspired by the Truss structural system, which is a cross-braced system consisting of a joint that connects truss members repetitively. All of the red pieces in the shoes represent the joint—they are 3D printed in order to have ultimate accuracy. The joints are then reinforced with stainless steel rods that utilize tensile and compressive forces to bear the weight—just like a Truss would do in a building—to achieve maximum durability. I used clear acrylic platforms that are cut on a CNC machine to achieve transparency, so the user can view how the shoe is composed. I intentionally used non decorative screws and rivets to emphasize the functionality and industrial look of the collection." "Hybrid"Connector is an extension of Hany's view that the shoe is a mobile structure meant to support the body's weight:"A structure by definition is what supports a load and prevents collapsing. The body's weight, in this case, is the load that is carried by the structure, i.e the shoe. The only difference between a building structure and a shoe is that the building is designed to be static, whereas a shoe is used for walking, running, standing, leaning, etc.""Clog"Notice how cohesive the collection is—that's no easy task, considering the bulky materials she chose to use. According to Hany, the most challenging part of designing such a cohesive footwear collection was to keep her shoes as simple and to-the-point as possible. Simplicity was key in in her design process in order to keep her inspiration from getting lost in translation. "Cantilever" detailAnother detail designers should take note of—check out Hany's clever 360 degree GIFs:360 degree view of "Hybrid." This is a great portfolio idea, especially when you want a potential employer to see your work in more detail, but they're based in another country. Hany is definitely an up-and-coming footwear designer to keep an eye on.To see more details of the Connector collection (and more awesome 360 GIFs), visit Hany's website.[...]



Hand Tool School #11: If You Want to Protect Rainforests, Buy and Use Exotic Wood
Lately I have read some things online, had some conversations via social media, and fielded a few phone calls both as The Renaissance Woodworker and the Director of Marketing for a lumber company about using wood and environmental responsibility. I just had to say something in an effort to get some real information into the ether and hopefully stop some of the stupid falsehoods that my fellow woodworkers seem to have been fed. Somewhere along the line, we woodworkers have been bullied into thinking we are doing something wrong by working with wood, especially anything exotic. This needs to stop. Stop apologizing for using wood: an infinitely renewable, highly sustainable, and environmentally friendly construction medium. Whether you are selling your work or just building for your own enjoyment, you need to educate yourself in order to defend your position when the inevitable environmentalist comes trying to make you feel bad for not caring about your environment.Wood is Already GreenWood doesn't need a special certification label to be green. As a marketer I truly admire the machine that has inserted FSC into household usage across the US. I won't say that FSC isn't a good thing, but the certification isn't a magic bullet that means no puppies were harmed nor greenhouse gas expelled during the harvest and sawing of the stick in your hands. In most cases, provenance on an FSC product is a short trail filled with doubt, yet somehow it has become the gold standard for environmental responsibility. We should be concerned about how our forests are managed and the responsible woodworker should look upstream in the supply chain and understand where their wood comes from and what has happened from stump to their wood shop. In many instances, FSC can help with this. Relying on them to tell me my wood is green, however, is just silly. The irony is that wood is already green! It does actually grow on trees which has become the cliche for high availability. When you cut down a tree, you can replant one in it's place. In fact, common practice is to replant 10-20 of them. It is the perfect renewable resource. A growing tree actually sequesters more carbon than an old growth tree, so in terms of combating the Greenhouse Effect, nothing could be better. On the converse, nothing releases that sequestered Carbon faster than a forest fire, which is common in an old growth, poorly managed forest. Don't let anyone tell you that you have to buy this specific brand or species to be a green woodworker. "Green Woodworker" is already redundant. Be proud of it. Read more about the ultimate green building material.Illegal Logging is Not Rampant GloballyHow many times have you heard this one: "I only use locally sourced lumber in my projects to protect the rainforest." The sentiment is nice and it makes everyone feel good, but it is claptrap! I'm not going to sit here and deny that deforestation in the Amazon basin or in the Far East is happening. The facts are clear on that, and it is clearly visible from the air. Guess what—the lumber industry isn't causing it. Almost 95% of the rainforest land clear cut was done by the cattle ranchers and farmers. If any industry is concerned about the forest health, it is the people who actually make their living selling forest products. Long gone are the days of cut and don't look back from the end of the 19th and early 20th century. Replanting initiatives were started in the early 20th century here in North America when loggers sheepishly realized the damage they were causing. Sustainable forestry was born then (probably earlier if you look hard enough) and, at least here in North America, it has continued and become even more of an exact science called Silviculture. [...]



Girl (Em)Power!
This article is part of the Design for Impact series, a collaboration between Core77 and Autodesk focused on designers using their craft to promote environmental and social change. Change begins with knowledge. Armed with new insights, critical skills, and the confidence to take risks, motivated change agents initiate powerful action.Suz Somersall is using her platform as a change agent to empower new generations of women in engineering. Through her national education initiative, KiraKira, Somersall leverages the educational pedagogy of Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) to chart a path toward greater gender inclusivity in the field, using 3D modeling to leverage girls' creative curiosity.KiraKira students explore the engineering software Despite some improvement in the past decade, women remain dramatically under-represented in engineering fields. According to statistics provided by the National Science Foundation, women constitute only about 12% of engineering professionals. That's about 200,000 women in a field of 1.6 million engineers, with the most striking areas of under-representation in mechanical, civil, chemical, and aerospace engineering.While the numbers demonstrate the disparities, they don't indicate the two principal challenges: the obstacles to success for women in engineering and how we get people to care about them.Women Shaping the Future At a time when many have expressed concern about the future of the economy, KiraKira is positioning women to take an active role in shaping what industry looks like for generations to come. Perhaps the greatest asset the economy can harness is a more diverse cross-section of perspectives devoted to solving current challenges in energy, housing, infrastructure, transportation, space exploration, and climate change."Giving girls the power to see what's happening in the world and to respond to it as engineers, they have the potential to change how we envision and create things in the future," says Somersall.Leading with CreativityIt is in this landscape that Somersall sees an opportunity to leverage her insights into what motivates many girls: the power of creativity. Many girls show aptitude and interest in engineering at a young age only to reject advanced degree programs and careers in the field. KiraKira students check out a 3D printerReflecting on her own path, Somersall recalls how her early enthusiasm was almost thwarted by the traditional science pedagogy. "When I was in middle school, I loved math and science. I played Final Fantasy, was into video games, loved building things: forts, tools, gifts for my friends. I was definitely a maker," says Somersall. Soon after entering college, however, her enthusiasm waned. "The passion I had for science didn't resonate when I saw what the engineering classes offered. It seemed to resonate more when I saw the design and art classes."She turned to art and design, attending the Rhode Island School of Design to learn jewelry design. It was there that she was introduced to creative building tools like Autodesk's 3D modeling programs. "I realized that these engineering tools were going to let me be creative and have the fun that I wanted to have," she says. "That's kind of where I'm hoping we can bring some of that blending of engineering and art and introduce that to kids at an earlier age."Shifting engineering education from technical to creative often resonates more with girls, addressing their unique learning motivations. "If you lead with creativity, the passion will follow," says Somersall, advancing KiraKira's guiding philosophy: "Engineering is fun."Classes without BordersKiraKira offers engineering education to middle schools and high schools ar[...]