Carnegie Mellon University
June 11, 2015

“Make For Humanity” Campaign Launches During National Week of Making in D.C.

Maker Movement Can Improve Livability and Sustainability

By Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

Maryland high school students created a 3-D printed assistive hand grip for a spoon to help a classmate with motor impairments.

A new campaign, “Make for Humanity,” begins this week, seeking to harness the excitement and creativity surrounding the growing Maker Movement to improve the world, one community at a time. Carnegie Mellon University’s Illah Nourbakhsh will launch “M4H” in a keynote address Friday sponsored by Infosys at the White House’s “Week of Making.”

“The Maker Movement has empowered people to incorporate digital technology and tools into creative projects,” said Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics and director of CMU’s CREATE Lab. “Now it’s time to use those skills for projects that empower even more people and make life a bit more livable and sustainable for us all.”

Examples include Maryland high school students who used 3-D printing to fashion a gripper that helps a classmate with motor impairments hold a pen or utensil. In some cases, makers might create data rather than physical objects. For instance, students at a school in Salt Lake City used air quality monitors developed by the CREATE Lab to gather air quality data in classrooms near the school driveway and, in turn, persuaded parents to stop idling their cars while waiting to pick up students.

“We have three goals for this new initiative,” Nourbakhsh said. “One is to be hyperlocal — to address problems that are near you so that you really understand the problem. Two, is to partner with the people who will use your creation so that it will be as effective as possible. And, three, is to be transparent, to tell us about the challenges you discovered and how you solved them.”

The CREATE Lab has launched a Facebook page to help people share their solutions, as well as a Twitter account, @make4humanity. The lab has proposed the use of the hashtag #m4h.

The Maker Movement combines digital technologies, such as robotics, computers and 3-D printing, with more traditional crafts and the do-it-yourself culture. Last year, President Barack Obama hosted the first-ever White House Maker Faire and issued a call to action for “every company, every college, every community, every citizen [to] lift up makers and builders and doers across the country.”

This year, the White House is celebrating a “Week of Making,” June 12-18, which coincides with the National Maker Faire at the University of the District of Columbia, June 12-13. CMU’s CREATE Lab will be among the hundreds of exhibitors at Maker Faire.