MakerSpace: Challenge Cards, getting teens to try new activities in the Teen MakerSpace
We are having tremendous success with our Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH) and are very excited to see the teens in our community using the space and learning new things. We have learned that certain items are more popular than others, with the button makers and 3D pens being hands down everyone’s favorites.
We have also seen that some of the elements are a little less self-directed then we imagined them to be. Sometimes, our teens want prompts to help get them started. And after a little bit of searching I learned about “Challenge Cards”. Challenge cards are a great way to help get teens engaging with some of our Teen MakerSpace elements. They basically work like a writing prompt, giving just that little push needed to get the creative juices flowing.
We currently have Challenge Cards for our stop motion animation station, the LittleBits, and Legos. Some of the Challenge Cards we found online, others we created ourselves. Our Lego Challenge Cards are a combination of those we found online and those we created with the help of teens sitting in the Teen MakerSpace.
In the future, we hope to develop (or find) some coding challenge cards. And because our iPad bank is perfect for learning photo manipulation and meme creation, I think we will also be developing some Photo Challenge Cards.
We laminated our cards and created signage, making them available right next to the station so teens can grab a card and go. We have found that it has prompted some of our teens to try new activities in the space and recommend them.
Here are links to some of the various Challenge Card examples we have found to date or created for ourselves. If you know of others you would like to share, please add them in the comments.
Filed under: Makerspace
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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