We’ve gotten some great new tools at the library, so this month Maker Monday was all about exploring circuits!
First up: Makey Makeys. We have 6 Makey Makeys, and I hooked each up to a laptop and pulled up the piano page. One of these days I’m going to program our Raspberry Pis to boot up automatically to this page and eliminate the need for laptops, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. (story of my life…)
I made a few test keyboards for the Makey Makeys to demo all the different examples of conductive material, and the kids quickly got creative.
Station two was Snap Circuits! This one was SO MUCH FUN. I thought it might get boring (all you do is follow directions!) but the kids loved it. We only have two snap circuit kits, so they worked together (mostly) really well and stuck to the circuits in the instruction booklets. Although, I told them that if they hooked up the circuits the wrong way they might break something and/or blow up the library, so that might have been part of it.
Ever since, I have a few kids who ask to play with the snap circuits almost every time they are in the library. I try to always say yes, unless the children’s room is super busy, and let them experiment on their own (usually within sight of the desk, and after making them promise to not lose any parts).
The whole point of Maker Monday is to introduce kids to new ways of exploring and playing with STEAM and new tools (tech and non-tech) they might not see at home or at school. But what about the kids who can’t come to my once a month program that is right after school and requires someone to take them to the library? This is why we try to include as much stealth programming as possible for anyone anytime, and why I always try to say yes when kids ask to play with neat stuff out of the program. I love handing tools/ipads/supplies to kids who are anxious to explore and build and learn, and I’m working on a new project to make this happen more! (stay tuned…)