What does MakerEd have to do with Headlight Restoration?

I took my car to be inspected today and it was rejected because the headlights were cloudy and the wipers were torn. The estimate for a headlight restoration, a headlight adjustment and new wipers was $199. I asked how long it would take and was told it would be about an hour.


If school had already started, I might have paid that amount just to have it out of the way and not worry about being pulled over. In the last week of summer vacation, I decided to take care of it myself and try to save some money. I went to the local auto parts store and bought a heavy duty headlight restoration kit for $32 and then went to Costco and got 2 new wipers for $16. I taped off the headlights and sanded them with the included 1,000 and 3,000 grit sand paper. I then buffed the headlights with a buffing compound and buffing wheel attached to my cordless drill. Finally I applies a UV protectant. In all it took me about an hour for a dramatic difference in clarity.

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I took the car back to the shop and it passed. My cost was $49 for a total savings over the shop quote of $150.

What does this have to do with MakerEd? My experiences with making in the past few years has given me the confidence to take on more projects. These experiences have encouraged me to see beyond the final outcome and consider the techniques that are part of the making process. When we expose students to hands on learning, those experiences translate into life outside of school. Students become more capable of making informed decisions. There is a price for ignorance. When you don’t know what goes into the making of a product you can’t properly value the end results. Repair shops are notorious for using this inequity in information and experience to overcharge. These gaps in information and experience are costly. By creating MakerEd experiences we better enable our students to be successful in the world.