Scenes from a Teen MakerSpace Open House
Yesterday in celebration of The National Week of Making, we officially introduced our Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH) to our community by hosting an open house. Our Teen MakerSpace is normally only open to teens ages 12 through 18, but we wanted to let the public know what we are doing with (and for) their teens, so we spent the day making with our community.
The Set Up
We spent the better part of the last 2 weeks getting prepared. I designed and ordered cool TMS (Teem MakerSpace) backpacks to hand out. We made logos to put on water bottles. We made lists and checked them twice. We bought supplies. We made signage. We organized. We recruited. We stressed. And then we celebrated.
The Welcome Table
Because our Teen MakerSpace is small, we held our event on two floors. Some activities were upstairs in the TMS, but many were downstairs in the large meeting rooms to accommodate a greater number of people.
For every activity we do, we made sure to have a variety of books available on the various topics for our guests. In addition, we made sure and included some higher tech making with more arts and crafts, in part to accommodate the large number of anticipated guests without totally destroying our yearly budget, but also because we have learned through the course of the last six months of being open that our teens like to do arts and crafts just as much as they like to get their hands on technology.
We just discovered string art. Actually, it came about because my assistant director had a HUGE amount of craft string in her basement that she handed to me and I have never been good at making friendship bracelets so I needed a way to use these. Seriously, I have always found friendship bracelets hard to make.
Supplies: Foam core board, straight or push pins, templates, string.
Note: We found it easier to glue the pins in place using a hot glue gun.
Glue your pins and place and just string it up. It’s time consuming, but everyone was happy with their completed projects.
The best part of all our Lego fun was the Rube Goldberg machine that we created with the help of a Klutz Lego Chain Reactions kit.
And here’s our Lego Chain Reaction in action.
Shrinky Dink Jewelry
I was surprised by how many teens asked, “What are Shrinky Dinks?” Honestly, introducing them to Shrinky Dinks was the greatest community service we could provide.
Post It Note Art
I am obsessed with Sharpie’s. Even more so since we got this cool Sharpie art book in our Maker Collection (more on this soon). So we thought a simple activity to do would be to create a Sharpie Post It Note Gallery. This turned out to be both incredibly fun and extremely popular.
Our 3D pens have proven to be very popular. In fact, they go so much use that we keep breaking them, which is not awesome. But here are our pens in action.
You may have heard, but teen and adult coloring is all the rage. My co-worker hosts a monthly teen and adult coloring night and they get around 40 people at each event, so it was a no brainer for me to include a coloring station.
It was a lot of work, but completely worth it. Our event was open from Noon until 7 PM and we were exhausted at the end. BUT it was so much fun and we enjoyed seeing all the cool creations.
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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