May 25, 2016

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SLJ Reviews the littleBits STEAM Student Set

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Want to see your students get excited about science, technology, and art? Tell them you have the design to build a throwing arm. Our review of the littleBits STEAM kit.

School Library Budgets Rise 20%, Yet Challenges Remain | Spending Survey 2016

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On average, budgets climbed nearly 20 percent in 2015–16 to $8,315. Meanwhile, school librarians report a lack of needed funds to serve special needs children and English language learners. And OER use is up, as is the demand for nonfiction.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

My Love/Hate Relationship with 3-D Printers in Libraries

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We’ve seen 3-D printers shift from cool niche products to supposed must-haves. But are we achieving the dream or just printing tchotchkes?

Read It, Make It: Low-Tech Maker Projects and Titles | Nonfiction Notions

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Librarian Jennifer Wharton recommends several cheap, easy, and low-tech maker activities paired with books that offer step-by-step instruction.

LittleBits Announces STEAM Student Set at SXSWEdu

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LittleBits has launched the STEAM Student Set, the first version of the popular electronic building blocks geared for the education market.

SLJ’s Top Posts of 2015

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From a controversial state bill to new ways to approach reading with teens and Minecraft, our top posts of the year were an eclectic mix.

STEAM Programs Sing in the Hands of Tricia Fuglestad

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Lauded STEAM leader Tricia Fuglestad spells out how she makes the magic happen at the “intersection of art and science.” Circuitry projects, stop motion videos, and, of course, LEGO, are all part of the plan. She even has an idea for bolstering a common weak spot in maker spaces: sharing the learning.

Team Blanket Making—Intergenerational programming for teens… and adults

The collection of finished "Granny Squares" made by the participants

Heather Booth discovers a new way to bring an intergenerational maker program—and benefit the community—to the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, IL.

New Ideas for Better STEAM Programs

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Two experts in the maker movement, Allison Vannatta and Nick Taylor, shared hard-won secrets during SLJ’s online Maker Workshop.

A Look at the Akron Public Library Mini Maker Faire

In September I went and visited the Akron Public Library in Ohio to check out it’s Mini Maker Faire. They had around 60 individuals and groups participate, setting up booths throughout the library. They began marketing the event early, giving people time to make their creations: While browsing the various exhibits I met some very […]

Video: Schools, Libraries Uniquely Positioned to Direct Maker Movement, Says Congressman

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U.S. Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA41) addressed the growing importance of maker activities—from STEM education to small-batch manufacturing—in a September 16 keynote.

Congressman Mark Takano to Keynote Maker Workshop

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Can the Maker Movement reinvigorate American manufacturing? Congressman Mark Takano thinks so. Takano (D-CA41) will deliver the September 16 keynote “How the Maker Movement Can Drive the Economy” to begin the Fall Maker Workshop from School Library Journal and Library Journal.

Nurturing “Food Explorers” with Spoons Across America

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When it comes to making, what could be more fun than playing, experimenting, and teaching with food? Ali McDowell of Spoons Across America talked to SLJ about the organization’s approach to culinary education, with advice and resources on helping kids and families eat well.

Chicago High School Hosts Citywide Maker Faire, Coproduced by the School’s Library Director   

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Can you imagine having a Maker Faire at your school? That’s the case at Schurz High School in Chicago, where students are helping host the annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, which draws 2,000 attendees.

ISTE 2015: Takeaway Tips for a Library Maker Space | ISTE 2015

Maker station at the ISTE Librarians Network Digital Age Playground at the 2015 ISTE conference in Philadelphia.

Maker was front and center at the 2015 ISTE conference—and that was a good thing for Jennifer Hanson, director of library services at Worcester (MA) Academy, who is planning a maker space at her school.

3-D Printers: Understanding Copyright, Fair Use, and More

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An ALA information policy analyst outlines the legal issues relevant to 3-D printing in public and school libraries—and explains why librarians should lead the way in creating acceptable use policies for this technology.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Coding Skills Empower Us All |The Maker Issue

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We’re not coding in schools so that every kid can get a tech job; we’re doing so to give all kids the chance to understand and interact with the technologies in their lives.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Ready to Learn Coding? Here are resources. Plus: Teaching with Scratch| The Maker Issue

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Resources for learning to code online and face to face, from Khan Academy to Black Girls Code; and suggested lesson plans using Scratch.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Urban Farming Elevates St. Louis Schools | The Maker Issue

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Gardening, farming, and keeping bees are par for the course at schools in the Maplewood Richmond Heights District.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

3-D Printing: Worth the Hype? | The Maker Issue

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What is 3-D printing exactly, and how does it serve kids? Here’s a walk-through.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.