April 23, 2017

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Untethering the blocks: Building beyond walls and tables

Remember the scene in Singing in the Rain where Donald O’Connor magically dances on the walls?  Remember Fred Astaire’s famous ceiling dance in Royal Wedding?  Till now kids’ work with interlocking blocks has been bound to tables and floors and a few installations of LEGO walls. (See Diana Rendina’s epic instructions.) Till now blocks kinda […]

STEAM Project Recipes: Insta-Robots and Sewing Art

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Step-by-step illustrated instructions for sewing and robot-building activities from SLJ’s 2016 School Librarian of the Year.

On “poetical science” and making beyond the “space”

In his history of the digital revolution, The Innovators, Walter Isaacson reveals Ada Lovelace’s significant legacy–that the humanities and technology could happily coexist as a poetical science. This particular coexistence, he notes, does not usually exist in our schools. Many people who celebrate the arts and the humanities, who applaud vigorously the tributes to their […]

Study on Maker Educators Outlines How Their Needs Can Be Met

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A new report examines this burgeoning group, their resources, and how they can better attain their goal of connecting with students and the community.

11 Lessons from a Maker Space­­, One Year In

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A year after Karen Jensen and staff opened a teen maker space at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH), she assesses what worked, what didn’t, and how to move forward.

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

Hey, I Built a LEGO Wall! Here’s How.

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An elementary school librarian quickly assembled an inexpensive LEGO wall with donated LEGO bricks, crowdsourced advice, and good humor.

String Theory: Projects Merging Math, Art, and Making

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Recipes for large and small-scale geometric string art projects from Todd Burleson, SLJ’s 2016 School Librarian of the Year.

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

Yes, He Can! Todd Burleson, SLJ’s 2016 School Librarian of the Year

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“Please keep robots out of the sawdust” is the kind of phrase heard around the library at Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka, IL, where Todd Burleson can be found leading engineering challenges, inspiring student reporters, and constantly inventing.

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

Seven Surprising Benefits of Maker Spaces

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Noted experts Carrie and Alton Barron explain one of the single most important ways a librarian can point patrons to optimal intellectual and emotional experiences.

Trend Alert: Kite-Making Workshops

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We’ve caught wind of a new trend—kite-making workshops taking place in libraries across the country. Here’s what’s up—and away!

Follett Launches New Maker Space Bundles for K–12 Libraries

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Designed to make starting a maker space quicker and easier, the pre-packaged supplies are specific to grade levels.

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.

Mobile Maker Spaces

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Librarians in a Knoxville, TN school district got a grant to build four maker space carts that rotate among schools. Find out what they bought and why.

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.

Steampunk, SLIME, and Game Design: Lead the Change Fast-Learning Sessions

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Three rapid-fire presentations on steampunk making, organizing a regional maker expo, and digital game design wrapped up our Lead the Change Maker Workshop.

The DOE, the Makerspace Challenge and you (if you act now!)

For those of you secondary school folks planning, or planning to enhance, makerspaces in your libraries, check out the news from the White House and act before the April 1st deadline! A press release shared that Acting Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. asked that Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and […]

Big Cash Prizes for Maker Spaces Up for Grabs

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Enter your dream maker space in the Department of Education’s CTE Makeover Challenge. You may just snag the money to make it happen. But hurry; the deadline is April 1.

Design Thinking Maximizes Maker Spaces

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Marnie Webb’s keynote to SLJ’s Maker Workshop, a four-week online course, introduced an often-overlooked approach to launching and improving maker spaces.

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.

Making, With a Rube Goldberg Twist

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Building contraptions inspired by the inventor and cartoonist teaches students about physics, problem-solving, and cause and effect.