On Monday, 14-year-old robotics fan Ahmed Mohamed was detained in Irving, Texas, for carrying a homemade digital clock into his new high school. He was handcuffed and taken into juvenile detention for enquiring because teachers and police assumed that the circuit board set-up must be a DIY bomb. Ahmed told The Dallas Morning News “She was like, it looks like a bomb,” Ahmed has since been released with no charges filed, but over the past 24 hours the Internet has been flooded with support for the teen from all the biggest names not only from politics but from science and technology also. They all made it clear that they stand with Ahmed, and that young people shouldn't feel frightened of being wronged for doing science.
The story is mainly argumentative in light of the police harshness that's occurred in places like Baltimore and Cleveland lately, with numerous commenters questioning whether Ahmed was only detained because he's from a Middle Eastern background - particularly since he never led anyone to trust the device was anything other than just a DIY digital clock. Here some tweets about him.
If this looks like a bomb to you, then please ... don't touch technology. You are a stupid person. #IStandWithAhmed pic.twitter.com/Ur4pSQhovd— Nash (@Nash076) September 16, 2015
Hi @IStandWithAhmed ! I'd love you to join us for our science show Generator in Toronto on 28 Oct. There's a ticket waiting for you.— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) September 16, 2015
Hey Ahmed- we're saving a seat for you at this weekend's Google Science Fair...want to come? Bring your clock! #IStandwithAhmed— Google Science Fair (@googlescifair) September 16, 2015
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Either way, the truth is that a young boy was captured from school in handcuffs, questioned, and had his possessions searched, only because he loved robotics and wanted to show his new high school a clock that he'd made all by himself in only 20 minutes. And that's extremely wrong. To show our humble support, we thought we'd track Wired's and sciencealert’s lead and inspire all of you to make your own digital clocks at home, not only because it's good pure science fun, but because the world's teachers and law enforcement agencies plainly need a lesson on what home-made clocks look like. If you've got your own equipment, this tutorial is extremely useful: