Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cambridge Science Festival Part 2

     On Sunday of the Cambridge Science Festival, I had the pleasure of visiting Artisan's Asylum in Somerville. For a seemingly inconspicuous building in the middle of a neighborhood, a plethora of creativity is going on within their walls. Artists are welcome to take classes, store materials, or rent a space for their work. Space includes high tech plasma cutters, welding and wood working workshops, 3D printers, screen printing. bicycle maintenance shop, and more. After getting a grand tour from one of the Asylum members, it was time for hands on activities. This included a tinkering table which allowed anyone to disassemble various discarded technologies and see what is inside them.  Sometimes the simplest projects are ones that are the most rewarding. Only supplying the tools, they encouraged families to explore and problem solve by taking apart the machines. How many libraries have old computer equipment in storage with nothing to do with? How about making mosaics when they are done tinkering? Wooden boards were given a new life at the next table with magazine/wallpaper scraps, modge podge, wood glue, and various computer parts.
This box was actually STOLEN! so the artist decided to make a new one.
On display was a recyclable garden made out of old CDs, umbrellas, etc. to decorate any library or home lawn.  Another creative display was artsy local Dig boxes. Each artist redecorated a weekly Dig magazine box to be placed all over the city. See if you can spot them next time you visit Boston.
     Another hit craft was balloon powered cars.  Made from paper plates, empty tape rolls, pipe cleaners, straws, and balloons, students constructed cars that could actually race when the balloon was full.  Here is a more involved example but you get the idea.  My brain is already buzzing to introduce this to our Lego Club  for racing. Simply blow up the balloon, release your finger over the straw, and viola!
     Being a librarian who organizes programs, I realize what a vast undertaking in scheduling, materials, and volunteers to make a week like this happen. Special thanks to everyone involved. It was truly inspiring!

1 comment:

Thanks for commenting!