All Staff Day 2016


DATE: April 20, 2016

It was my first All Staff Day with the Free Library of Philadelphia, so I did not know what to expect. If you want to know more about the profession or what to do or are looking for any other information, contact I arrived at Central Library first thing in the morning, and was surprised to see so many people. However, I was quite pleased to see a few familiar faces. Maker Jawn ran two workshops back-to-back that morning, each was about an hour and a half long. We had five different tables, and each table follow the concept of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). Each table was ran by two facilitators, either two Maker Mentors, or a Maker Mentor and a LEAP ASL. Hooray to collaborations! After a short introduction by a fellow Maker Mentor and our Project Coordinator, the staffs were free to visit any tables that interested them. Since Maker Jawn mainly works with the North Clusters, I was very excited to meet staffs from the other clusters as well. It was a good chance for us to introduce ourselves and what we do. I also think that our workshops were a great hit as well. We were asked many questions regarding our programming, and even invited to come visit some of the other clusters during their monthly meetings.


Here is a list of our activities:

S: Slime!

T: Coding Table (Arduino/Scratch/Lillypad)

E: Wind Powered Cars

A: Paintless Watercolors

M: Modular Origami

My table was Arts, and we did an acids and bases watercolors painting workshop, which we called “Paintless Watercolors.” I facilitated the table with another fellow Maker Mentor, and we gave a little demo on how we prepared the regular watercolor papers into litmus paper. Of course, we also had the printed copies of the curriculum ready for anyone who was interested in doing it themselves. Some said they would like to try this at their library branch. Others said they would like to try it with their family or friends. One actually said she was interested in incorporating this into her research project for school.


Our Demo Speech (for the most part):

Litmus paper are often used in labs as a pH indicator. The pH scale actually ranged from 0 to 14. 7 is neutral, anything below 7 is acidic and above 7 is basic. Neutral is often shown as purple, which is why these sheets are purple. In our demonstration, the stronger the acidic solution the pinker the color will be, and the stronger the basic solution the greener the color will be. The solutions we prepared were: lemon juice, dish soap, Dr. Brenner’s soap, vinegar, undiluted bleach, and diluted bleach. The undiluted bleach was actually so strong that it could lift the color right off the paper, which gave it a white coloring.


“Go ahead and experiment with the solutions, and see what you can discover!”


Here are some pictures from our table:











Overall All Staff Day was a GREAT SUCCESS! I am so glad that I was able to be a part of it this year. I truly hope that Maker Jawn would be able to expand to all of the other clusters as well in the near future!

Signing Out,

Chieuanh Thi Nguyen

Maker Mentor and Strong Supporter of FLP

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