On Monday, September 14, police rolled up to MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. A teacher called to say that a student brought a “hoax bomb” to school.
A hoax bomb that, according to police, no sane person would have built for any other reason than to look like a bomb. A short time later, Ahmed Mohamed was led through the doors of the school in handcuffs. The police carried a bag containing Ahmed’s clock. The same clock he built the night before to take to school to show his teacher.
Today and tomorrow is Internet Days, two days when thousands of people gather at the Waterfront Conference Centre in Stockholm to discuss everything that matters with the internet. It’s a conference that reflects our vision that the internet stands for freedom and possibilities, something that for me means freedom to communicate and the possibility to learn and evolve without obstacles.
Children who create
I love to build things, especially toys for my kids. Blinking robots that fart and break, which we later repair and rebuild again. Before this incident, I never dreamed that someone might call the police if my children or I showed off something that we had built in school.
There are more people than me that are shaken by this news. The U.S. President Obama tweeted the day after and invited Ahmed to the White House. And for some reason, all makers went clock-crazy and started building one remarkable clock after another.
This year’s speaker gift
As you might already know, we here at IIS are also maker-crazy and saw the chance to do our bit. Therefore, we utilized our broad contact net and brought in a gang of happy 14-year olds who, with a little help from myself, built their own clocks. And it is these clocks that we are giving to our keynote speakers this year.
So that we all never forget that a clock can have many different faces.
See our video from when we had our maker event: