Lately I've been teaching a lot of classes around town. At the Seattle Public Libraries I've been teaching folks how to maintain their bicycles. Mostly this is a matter of breaking the fear barrier. I've found that the number one obstacle to bicycle maintenance is not lack of knowledge, but the belief that that knowledge is forbidden.
Also, at Makerhaus I've begun teaching an intro to metalworking class.
I designed a wall sconce for the students to copy if they wanted to, but in the first class I told them: This class is about prototyping. I encourage you to modify this design heavily. There's a lot of flexibility built in to it, and beyond that, you don't even have to make a wall sconce if you don't want to.
One student is making a mug out of sheet metal with a certain well-known number milled into the outer surface.
Then another one is cutting the classic section of a bottle opener into a piece of aluminum round bar.
I'm impressed by their fearlessness. These tools are completely new to them, and they want to dive into unknown projects.
I'll post updates on their progress over the remaining two classes.