The next maker we would like to introduce is Gabriel Perumal.
“It is an honour and a calling to be a maker.” This was Gabriel’s ending line to my email interview with him. It is telling of his pride to be known as a maker.
Despite that, Gabriel described himself as an average youth. He graduated with a Diploma in Clean Energy and he is currently a full-time National Serviceman.
Gabriel loves electronics. His passion for electronics and his belief to educate electronics to young children has driven him to be actively involved in the Maker Movement since his first involvement last year. Gabriel first learnt about the Singapore Mini Maker Faire through William Hooi, a fervent activist in the local (and sometimes regional) maker scene. He had since regarded William as a mentor who had guided him in his maker journey. Gabriel shared with us how he began his maker journey at the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) booth area at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013. He made a Musical Plant using piezo sensors and Arduino, and it played music upon the touch of a leaf! To Gabriel, it was an awesome experience meeting makers with similar passion and devotion.
This year, Gabriel will be setting up his own Maker booth. At his booth, he would like to conduct two mini workshops, the first being an electronics workshop where children will use Tiny Lights Kit, an electronics kits that he came up with. Tiny Lights Kit is an electronic kit with tiny colourful LEDs, and children will learn to fix a basic LED (Light Emitting Diode) Switch Circuit on a tiny breadboard. The inspiration of this Kit came from a LittleBits, a cool electronics kit designed for kids age for 7 and up. Gabriel was inspired to design a similarly fun yet more affordable kit. He also duly credited his friends Zhen Hao and Arshad for contributing to the plan and the design of the kit, at an affordable cost of just SGD10. The second mini workshop is on introductory Arduino programming as it would be complementary to the hardware workshop. The target audience is similarly children. Gabriel highlighted that he would like to see parents accompany the children at these workshops and take the chance to bond with them. Honestly, I was surprised to hear this from a 21-year-old, but what a nice thought, isn’t it?
Although the actual Singapore Mini Maker Faire is taking place only in the month of July, many of our active Makers were already actively involved in the lead-up workshops. Gabriel is one of them. On 5 April, Gabriel took part in one of the lead-up family workshop, and ran some electronics activities for the participating families. When asked on his takeaways, Gabriel shared on his sense of mission to help bring out the potential in children in the field of electronics and technology. He believes that such engagement will leave an impact in the lives of the children later on. He also wished that more technological companies can come forth to sponsor the events or provide their technological expertise to inspire and educate the next generation. We also hope to see that happen!
When asked about future plans, Gabriel shared his dream for electronics education to be made compulsory in schools and for his electronic kits to be used widely in Singapore in future. For now, he would start off with a “Startup” Electronics Made Easy (EME). We wish Gabriel all the best in materialising his dream. For a preview of what you will see at Gabriel’s booth, check out this youtube video which he put together.
This year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire will be even more meaningful to Gabriel as he will be turning 21 years old on the first day of the Faire. What an awesome way to celebrate! If you see Gabriel on 26 July, do not forget to wish him “Happy Birthday!”