XinCheJian Curriculum

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Define a set of immediately useful skills across a wide variety of disciplines (mechanical, electrical, software, design and social sciences) to become a well-rounded maker and human being able to conceive, design, implement, operate, maintain and promote serious hobbyist, artistic or commercial projects.

Learning approach

  • Skills are introduced through workshop lasting each for about an hour
  • Learning process is linked to a larger all-encompassing goal (building robots)
  • Theory should be minimal
  • Preparation to workshops should be lightweight
  • Tools should be easy to use and free (or inexpensive) - preferrably free as in freedom
  • Content should focus on safety, setup, "most basic usage", "most useful usage"
  • Further mastery of the skill should be self-directed, with help from the community
    • starter kits
    • online documentation
    • projects

Apprentices become teachers

Apprentices who acquire a new skill should immediately assist into transferring the newly acquired skill to more students to reinforce their own learning.


Skills are presented as follows:

  • Skill
    • details
    • self-learning link
    • XinCheJian documentation

The skills should be approximately ordered in the order they should be acquired.


  • Introduction to Makerspaces, Makers, Hacking and Makers' ethos
    • Why a makerspace? Who are makers? What projects are there? What do we do?
  • Online safety
    • Backup, two-factor authentication, VPN
  • Offline safety
    • Urban survival skills
    • Disaster preparedness
  • Operating System installation, configuration and software installation
    • We use [Ubuntu], a Debian-based distribution of Linux
  • Documenting projects
    • Create a page, using tags
    • We use [MediaWiki]


  • Makerspaces management
    • Purchasing, finances, management
  • Change control
    • commit, checkout, revert, show history
    • We use [Git] and [GitHub]
  • Design
    • Brainstorming, schematics, creativity
  • Basics of electronics
    • current, voltage, resistance, ohm's law
  • Basics of programming
    • Variables, control flow statements, functions
    • We use [Arduino]
  • Basic lifeskills
    • cooking, budgeting, cleaning, dressing...


  • Event management
    • How to organize, promote and host events
  • Second language for makers
    • Chinese/English for makers for which it is not the mother's tongue
  • Microcontroller programming
    • interrupts, state machine, servo control, digital communication
    • We use [Arduino]
  • Basics of mechanical tools
    • Drill, mill, lathe, bandsaw
  • Basics of electronics tools
    • multimeter, oscilloscope, function generator
  • Basics of photography
  • Basics of cryptography

Upper intermediate

  • Electronics circuit design
  • Basics of CNC (Computer numerical control)
    • We use Linux EMC
  • Presentation skills
    • How to do interesting presentations
  • Video production
    • How to record and produce video


  • Project management
    • Learn how to plan, iterate and deliver
  • Self-improvement
    • Become a better human being
  • Social engineering
    • Neurolinguistic programming
  • Introduction to GUI development

Doctor Maker

  • Starting a new organization
    • Start a business, religion or makerspace...
  • Writing a book
  • Intelligence research and gathering
  • Transhumanist, life extension, technological singularity