Grab some laptops or tablets and set up this fun STEM program! Have your kiddos join millions of students around the world celebrating Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11) with the Hour of Code. Registration for the annual celebration starts each year in October.
It’s easy to sign up, and the website has plenty of resources to get you started. I’ll be using CodeMonkey to create a simple video game with block coding.
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:
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!
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!
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!
“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.
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.