Tuesday, January 14, 2014

North Philly Cluster Training: Bringing in 2014 with a bang! …and a click! …and a snap!

On January 2, over thirty Free Library staff members from the North Philadelphia Cluster participated in maker training, at the Kensington Library. Kensington is one of four neighborhood libraries (along with Lillian Marrero, Cecil B. Moore and Widener) that are participating in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant-funded “Maker Jawn: Design It * Make It * Share it” programming. The goal of the Maker Jawn crew is to mentor youth as they articulate their interests through the lens of technology.

Maker Mentors are library staff, students, engineers and artists who lead daily sessions with young makers, across North Philly. The training was facilitated by Branch Manager, Rebekah Ray, Programming Specialists (K-Fai Steele, Barbara Tait and Khaleef Aye) and Maker Mentors (Brittany Walker and Amanda Suarez). The outcomes have been quite interesting! At Kensington, kids have created an entire arcade of games using nothing but cardboard. Youth from the Cecil B. Moore Library created 3d-LED snowflakes for decoration of the children’s department. Widener youth made characters using squishy circuits (PlayDoh with LEDs and batteries). At Lillian Marrero, kids have learned to edit photos using a green screen and free online software like PIXLR.

One positive outcome from all of this is the community building and strengthening that takes place when the rest of the Library staff gets involved (as seen below). These moments serve as opportunities for youth empowerment, intergenerational learning, skills sharing and positive youth development.

So, in an effort to demystify what it means to be a maker in a library environment, introduce cluster staff to some really cool and inexpensive technology, and have some serious FUN, some of the Maker Jawn crew hosted stations that consisted of some of the more popular maker activities. From PlayDoh to LEDs, everyone was able to get their hands on the tools that are being used throughout the cluster. Here are some highlights:
                   Lillian Marrero Branch Manager, Rebekah Ray
                   leads an e-textiles station where staff was invited to 
                   bring items that they “lit up” by sewing in batteries and LEDs.

                    K-Fai demonstrates the Makey Makey, a
                    device that allows the user to use conductive
                    items (such as PlayDoh, fruit, and even
                    themselves) as a controller.
                   Staff took photos in front of a Green Screen and edited
                   them using the free online software PIXLR.
                   Cluster staff learns to make their own video
                   games, online. Game making has become a great
                   way for kids and teens to explore creativity and strengthen
                   their strategizing and problem solving skills.
Are you interested in doing some of this? Here are some links to FREE resources that were used, as well as additional information about the Maker Jawn movement:

makerjawn.org/ - additional information regarding the Free Library’s Maker Jawn project
scratch.mit.edu/projects/2543877/ - MIT’s scratch piano, an online music creation program that’s used with the Makey Makey
pixlr.com –online photo editing software
sploder.com –online game creation website
gamestarmechanic.com –online game creation website
animoto.com –online video software
adafruit.com – great site for e-textile project ideas

Have Fun!
The Maker Jawn Team

No comments:

Post a Comment