Tinkering Staff Member: Jake Montano
Manager of Youth Tinkering Programs
As a kid in Dallas with parents that worked endless hours, much of my time out of school was spent occupied with self-made projects. I had several hobbies—fawning over movies, making windy tunnels out of cardboard boxes, doodling, cooking things that often resulted in them becoming inedible—and dabbled in many, many other pursuits. My developing creativity was an escape from boredom, and became the fuel for my work as an educator today. By the time I reached university, I was as interested in why people did what they did as what they did. I’m a practitioner of ethnography because of it, but retrieved an education in the arts to satisfy my own soul as well. So, despite calling myself a rabid and incurable tinkerer, it is people that I am most interested in. Working at a place like the Exploratorium means getting to meet hobbyists, experts, even the apathetic, and it means being in a place in which conversation about who we are is as welcome as the things we’ve made or discovered.