Category: Workshops

Developing Programming for Adults

In a low-income, high-poverty setting, it is a struggle to get adults to come to the library and participate in programming. As far as I can tell, this is a true situation across the nation. Parents in high poverty settings often don’t participate in school functions. A Pew research study also suggested that residents in low socioeconomic status are not… Read more →

Video Game Design Workshop @ LMB

On Saturday, Decemeber 13th we held a Video Game Design Workshop at the Lillian Marrero Neighborhood Library. We helped facilitators from E-Line Media kick off their national workshop tour to expose youth from grades 5-12 to basic game design principles and the National STEM Video Game Challenge. Unfortunately the boiler was going out at Marrero, but we had a great… Read more →

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Reaching all 54 branches! Expanding Maker Programming through Librarians and Teens!

K-Fai and Barbara have recently begun working with the Free Library’s Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program (LEAP) to create maker curriculum to be used by Teen Leadership Assistants (TLAs) in neighborhood libraries systemwide (54 branches!). We’re excited to expand maker programming throughout the entire library system, and this morning had the pleasure of leading some Adult/Teen Librarians in maker programming. Many… Read more →

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Letter from Thailand: Youth Maker Spaces and the Importance of Staff Development

Libraries and museums across the United States are building youth maker spaces and programming in an effort to broaden free, community-embedded educational opportunities. However, the tech enthusiasts who are championing the programming comprise a small percentage of library or museum staff. Many remain skeptical or unconvinced; they may already be stretched too thin in their job, or they may think… Read more →

Makey Makey Workshop @ Spells

Last Wednesday I held a Makey Makey workshop at Spells Writing Lab. Our game controller workshop was icing on the cake for their work story boarding and creating their own games in Gamestar Mechanic. It was wild to come in and see the variety of different games based off of the same platform.
As this was my first big workshop I was a tad bit nervous as to how it’s introduction would flow into the working session. To my surprise and delight after briefly explaining how the Makey Makey and its component parts work the kids became very attentive(handing out the alligator clips and the Makey Makeys was helpful). This coupled with a quick demonstration of how a high five could make our CANABALT player jump created an explosively energetic kickoff to making. Immediately the kids took to group work stations and began gleefully tinkering.

Throughout the workshop we explored many different fruits, candy, and found objects as input for their games. Eventually we looked to other video games and gave a stab at creating more complex controllers.
The most awesome of those controllers were those that brought together a team of three pre-teens and made them physically connect and work as a team to complete a level. This same project along with others spawned a variety of foil wearables to act as Earth. It was an excellent learning experience for all. I just hope one day they use their new akey Makey to spar with their space adventure foil swords.