Of mice and makers

This month at Cecil B. Moore library and McPherson Square library, things did not go as planned.  And the results were…. well see for yourself…



All of these creations were not part of the programming that day.  They were entirely self-motivated.  The only thing I did was advise.  I showed Idean how to cleanly snap popsicle sticks, and I showed Harmony how to light LED lights using copper tape.


I spend and will continue to spend time thoughtfully preparing programming at my site.  I feel that there should be a curriculum that introduces new possibilities to the regular maker and entices the newcomer.  And some the planned lessons were a success.  At least a dozen makers made flashlights this month, and about the same amount completed fortune cookie key chains.


But mostly I’ve been blown away by the ingenuity and creativity of kids.  For example, Jyleem at Cecil B. looked at my model glider and decide his would fly better, if he used paper instead of cardboard (it’s lighter).  He made one plane as we talked about ways to make our planes better.   He must have thought about his plane some more after the maker session, because the next week he came back ready to make a bi-plane.  A project he started and has been constructing entirely on his own. He plans to return and finish constructing it.


This whole project began as a stick bomb lesson.  That morphed into popsicle and rubber band bows and arrows.  I then planned planes as a more library appropriate airborne popsicle stick project.  But each project seems to go grow in ways that I never envisioned.


And that’s a good thing.


I can’t wait to see where kid’s take us next month.


-Bryan Belknap, maker mentor.

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