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Showing posts from October, 2013

Highlights from the Teen Summit

I had the opportunity to attend the annual Teen Summit, hosted by the Massachusetts Library System and the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services in Worcester this past week.  Youth librarians from both states were invited to come together and talk shop. The theme this year was "Full STEAM Ahead", a subject that here at the DFL, is right on target.

The keynote speaker was the delightful YA author, Marissa Meyer, who surprisingly spent a small amount of time talking about her wonderful science fiction fairy tale quartet "The Lunar Chronicles" and most of her presentation introducing the concept of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Using her childhood love of Star Trek, she posed the question; When does science fiction inspire fact or visa versa? Did the Star Trek communicator inspire a flip phone? Will warp speed ever exist? Did the fashionable Geordi La Forge visors inspire tools that grant sight?

These were just a few cross…

Developing Local Skills

Today we started with a Makerspace initiative teaching basic soldering to our Middle school rapscallions, the PHILS, with the super "newbie-friendly" Maker badge. Suzanne and I felt pretty confident based on our previous tinkering...

We were able to refresh our own soldering know-how while giving our antsy Middle Schoolers the training they needed while they had their after-school snacks.
Thank goodness for youtube video tutorials.
Here's the one we watched:
http://makezine.com/2007/01/05/soldering-tutorial-make-v/

Lo and behold, the guys dove right in without hesitation and, after a few false starts (be sure to buy a couple extra kits), they all got their badges to light up!


Then, in the evening, we shifted gears and hosted Kerrie Capraro and her awesome family of Suburban Homesteaders as they presented, Raising Chickens in the Suburbs! Wow. They really made their case for this exciting family project - so many wonderful experiences that enrich family life.

There was much…

Possibilities of Tinkering Tuesday format

Many of you know that Jessica and I are trying things out on our Middle School group, the PHILS, on Tuesday afternoons, with the objective being to gauge activity flow, supervision requirements, etc. in preparation for a more robust on-going Tuesday program for a more diverse age group.

One of the interesting things we have found is that it's good to have a couple of options to choose from on any given day. Gathering first to explain and perhaps grab a teachable moment, then allow some free flow between activities. Some kids really like to dig into one thing, others like to try a few things out.

This feels important to me because if we want this program to be on-going and a bit self-sustaining, we can't be constantly coming up with unique activities every week, but I don't feel that that's necessary!

The Take-Apart Table is ALWAYS interesting. I learned that limiting the number of things to take apart is better. Yesterday, someone took apart an old keyboard. Inside there…