I’m planning on doing a Tech Take-Apart program and have found some great resources!
In the Youth Makerspace Playbook that I posted about before, head down to Appendix B on page 68 for tips on taking apart electronics, safe practices for e-waste disassembly, and a list of tools that are helpful to have on hand. There’s also a list of what is safe to take apart and what is not safe! For example, do not use Laser printers (carcinogenic toner), Copy machines (toner), Microwaves (radioactive component), Cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs (deadly capacitor potential), Paper shredders (many sharp blades), or Fluorescent tubes and compact fluorescent bulbs.
So how do you get the electronics? Ask your fellow staff members, search the storage areas of the library, talk to your IT person, find out if there is an e-recycling program near you that would donate some items to the library! Our library is a city department, and we ask the other departments for donations. In addition, ask your patrons!
Additional reading on how to make this program successful:
Have you done this at your library or Makerspace? Drop your tips and resources in the comments!
Click here to access a stellar document about Makerspaces — the Youth Makerspace Playbook by MakerEd!
Whether you are in the planning stages or have been running your space for years — you’ll find something useful here. One of my favorite things in this document is Appendix D, which speaks about language use. It is so important to be intentional with the language you are using with your makers. For example, we might have a young person who isn’t sure how to start or wants specific examples, instructions, etc. We might say something like, “I hear that you’re having a hard time getting started and would prefer an example. I do have some if you’d like, but how about waiting a bit and seeing what others are trying out? Perhaps something will inspire you. Try just messing around first, just playing and having fun. I’ll check back with you in a bit to see how you’re feeling.” I love that!
If you are a member of the American Library Association, check out the Core Maker Technology Interest Group!
There are a lot of great discussions and networking opportunities here. I’d love to see this group grow and be more active!
The folks at NASA always have something cool going on. Right now anyone can sign up to send their name for a flight around the moon. I signed up the library and am going to post this on our social media to promote an upcoming NASA program. There are so many different ways you could incorporate this into your library programming! Perhaps even set up a station after school to help kids enter their names and create their boarding passes!
The names will be included on a flash drive that will fly aboard Artemis I.
Artemis I will be the first uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The flight paves the way toward landing the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon! Click here for more information!
I was happy to find out about this great vendor for Makerspace products, Brown Dog Gadgets! They offer a variety of goodies, including bristlebot kits, maker tape, crazy circuits, conductive sewing, LED name badges, paper circuits, solar, and more.
Makers in the Library is offering a free 5-week series of webinars for developing and sustaining your Makerspace! April 6 – May 4, 2022. Register here.
From the Makers in the Library Website:
We begin our journey focused on the people in your library and community, spending time understanding their talents, interests, and resources. Relationships take time to develop, so it’s best to start here to lay the foundation. This asset-based approach allows the process to grow naturally, rooted in community needs and library capacity.
Webinar 2: Brainstorm & Prototype: Out of the Box Thinking and Testing Ideas
This part of the process should stretch your imaginations and generate a wealth of ideas for different ways to build a program in response to earning from the community. Then give a few of the ideas a practical test to see how it goes in real life.
Webinar 3: Implementation: The Nitty Gritty of Planning and Preparing Creative Maker Experiences
To help you think through all of the steps needed to make your makerspace happen, we’ve made this week longer-90 minutes-and divided this section into 2 parts: Prepare and Launch. Prepare starts with setting concrete goals and making a plan to achieve them, while keeping in mind your budget, the activities you want to offer, and the environment you want to create. Then, in Launch, we move into how to staff your space, along with the training and operational systems you need to have in place
Webinar 4: Reflect & Refine: Using Evaluation to Strengthen Programs
Our process empowers your maker program to be nimble, responsive, and striving for continuous improvement and growth. This involves developing systems and habits for documenting and reflecting on how the program is going, as well as refining the program to make it stronger. Reflection can be a daily practice for individuals, but program staff should also periodically reflect as a team too, perhaps monthly or even weekly until the program has become more established.
Webinar 5: Amplify & Grow: Marketing, Fundraising and Professional Growth
With your makerspace programming launched and in effect, the focus shifts to sustainability. Each and every one of you has a part to play in the sustainability of your makerspace—which inherently includes asking for donations (whether through fundraising or grant writing), building strong partnerships, and most importantly, marketing your makerspace through telling the stories of the impact your programming has had on the community.
I am so excited for these! Hope to see you there 🙂
There are so many great books about Makerspaces published by the American Library Association. Many are available in my library system, which is great. I am trying really hard to only put one on hold at a time!
Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments!
From the video description:
“Creating and starting a makerspace is an exciting venture; you build a team and purchase new equipment. There are a lot of resources (people and articles) that describe how emergent makerspaces can get off the ground. Once your makerspace has been open for a few years, you begin to experience challenges that are distinctly different from those start-up challenges, and there are very few, if any, resources that describe what this new, “post-emergent” phase entails. Three labs in the YOUmedia Learning Labs Network will lead you through a workshop where they present and talk through a framework that supports makerspaces in thinking through what this phase involves, and how to not be caught off guard by those challenges.”Education Innovator on YouTube
Remake Learning Days is a fun way for your Makerspace to participate in a nationwide movement to help young people thrive. Here in Wisconsin, Remake Learning Days – Badgerland is happening from April 22-30. Check to see if your region is participating!
What is Remake Learning Days? From their website:
“Remake Learning Days Across America (RLDAA) is a celebration of innovative experiences and opportunities for youth to develop their sense of creativity, perseverance and curiosity. Remake Learning Days is a festival of events hosted by a variety of organizations, such as schools, museums, libraries, after school organizations, early child care centers, universities, media centers, tech startups and more. These events are designed to be hands-on, relevant and engaging educational experiences for youth of all ages (pre-K through high school) and their families, caregivers and educators. The majority of events are free and open to kids of all ages.
Events are organized by different learning themes such as: Arts, Maker, Outdoor Learning, Science, Technology and Youth Voice. In addition, there are Professional Development sessions for school, out-of-school, child care and non-traditional educators. Families and youth can search events by date/time, location, learning theme, age group (pre-K through high school) and more.
Submit your program here! You will need to create a free account.
If there is one place to get started or up your makerspace game, it’s at Makers in the Library. What an incredible resource! Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this website provides an in-depth toolkit that covers virtually every aspect of makerspaces, including a whole lot of extremely helpful planning tools.
Their excel spreadsheets are a gamechanger. Check out the action plan spreadsheet and – best of all because I’m a nerd – the budget spreadsheet! I am always so grateful when people create beautiful spreadsheets full of formulas that I could never figure out.
Stop reading this now and go down the wondrous rabbit hole!