[Note: We will be introducing the makers/ workshop facilitators/ presenters of the first Singapore Mini Maker Faire. First on the list is Mr Teo Shin Jen, a lecturer from Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. Stay tuned for the rest!]
When he was a teenager, Shin Jen used the Bulletin Board System (BBS)/ Internet to find “recipes” for experiments. Now, he makes use of this interest in experiments to aid him in teaching and connecting with his students at the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Singapore Polytechnic.
To people who know him, Shin Jen is known as a code-monkey, electronic-hobbyist, experimental-electrician, monkey-wrench mechanic, driver (slave), baker, food warmer, swimmer, trouble-shooter, risk taker and soul hacker.
Read on to find out more about him!
Shin Jen shared with us that he is a “see-say-do-it” person who is very keen on experimenting with things that caught his interest bug. He said that he has always been an advocate of open source software and the GNU copyleft movement. In recent years, he also look upon writers of the MAKE and Instructables community for their passion of sharing what they make. Makers, writers such as Jeff Porter, and Chefs such as Heston Blumenthal inspire him to marry engineering and science for everyday use.
He felt that engineering and science can be fun, and that the toys he had created are useful in grabbing the attention of his students. He also felt that his students are able to better appreciate the inner working of stuff when he demonstrated certain electronic/computer principles through physical applications, and when they are directly involved in the process of making.
What are his barang-barang?
When asked to introduce his booth DIY Barang Barang, Shin Jen said that “Barang Barang” is a Malay word that describes items of any kind, and he will be showcasing projects including arduino, hardware hacks, software hacks, namely “DIY sous vide setup”, “Arduino sound to light”, “4 x 4 x 4 LED Cube” and a few other toys . Check out some sneak preview of his “barang barang” at his blog and Facebook page.
View on the local Maker scene and message to budding Makers
His sentiment is that the Maker scene in Singapore is generally optimistic, with Sim Lim Tower and Sim Lim Square at the “backyard”.
The essence of The MAKE movement is inviting the public to R&D (Replicate & Duplicate), by sharing their methodology and parts used in the form of user guide to be consumed by all. A lay man’s self- confidence can be gained through a successful R&D experience, and subsequently, self-actualization can be gained by inventing, hacking and improving.
He added that the internet can indeed provide lots of information such as “How To” and sharing of knowledge and experience. While a return of investment (ROI) would not be required, return of kindness (ROK) would be appreciated, so he encouraged discoveries to be uploaded and shared with other people online as well.
Check out Shin Jen’s maker booth “DIY Barang Barang” at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012, showcasing a collection of DIY projects by him and his students. Shin Jen is a good case of interest being married with work.