Author: gavin

Cool Bird Houses

When I first read over Bryan’s wooden birdhouse curriculum, I felt excited to be bringing carpentry into the library and introducing the makers to new “heavier-duty” tools and construction materials. But I was also intimidated by the prospect of a handsaw and hammer in a crowded room full of rambunctious kids. How would we make this loud, messy, and possibly… Read more →

Policy Makers

Creating an environment for informal learning takes a lot of compromise. The kids who come to the maker rooms at our libraries are not required to be there for any reason, and can participate in any way they like. I’m not a teacher or instructor, but more of a guide to help the makers figure out what they are interested… Read more →

Read! by 4th

The Read! by 4th initiative is a city-wide effort aimed at majorly increasing the number of students in Philadelphia entering the 4th grade at reading level by 2020. At present, nearly half of all public school students in Philadelphia cannot read at grade level by fourth grade.   In February Maker Jawn participated at a Read! by 4th program designed… Read more →


The Original Internet

I’ve always considered the library to be “the original internet”. Since ancient times libraries have served as the main storage facilities of all public information and knowledge. They are quiet places where introverts work happily on their creative and intellectual pursuits, surrounded by all the resources they could ever need. Despite the fact that we makers work noisily in groups,… Read more →

Getting Abstract

Abstraction is formed by filtering the information content of a concept or observable phenomenon and selecting only the aspects which are relevant for a particular purpose.  At CBM this particular purpose was to gather images as part of a photography scavenger hunt (and win a bag of chips for your effort). I noticed that kids loved going around the library… Read more →

Molecular Jewelry

In November Maker Jawn will feature craft-based programming at each of its 6 sites in conjunction with the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Craft show, and Craft NOW Philadelphia. We will be making “molecular jewelry” designs out of Sculpey based on the structural formulas of chemical compounds. Participants will choose what molecule they want to make, then create the atoms out… Read more →