TIPP CITY — The Makerspace movement has reached the Tipp City Public Library, thanks to a collaboration between Youth Services staff members Heidi Martin and Julie Smith and Renee Matsunami from the Tipp City Area Arts Council.
What is the Makerspace movement? Library and school Makerspaces come in various shapes and sizes. They are gathering places for creativity, self-expression, and problem solving through projects that inspire kids to create and design. During the process of creating they learn to use tools, make a plan, become organized, experiment and learn from their mistakes.
The idea is to encourage STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learning through fun projects. Tipp Library started with some low-tech projects in the fall in the Creative Corner (the children’s Makerspace area)- build a cup & ball game, make sculptures with pipe cleaners. In the Tinker Lab (the teen area’s Makerspace lab) sixth through 12th graders created duct-tape art and made jewelry with ShrinkyDinks.
In December, Martin and Matsunami solicited donations which would allow them to bring technology into the library’s Makerspace project. More than $600 in donations were received from the Friends of the Library, Tippecanoe STEAM Boosters, Tipp City Area Community Foundations, and Lisa Santucci. Bryan Blake from MCM Electronics worked with the team and offered sizeable discounts on littleBits Kits and also donated 2-Raspberry Pi Kits for our Makerspace.
The Makerspace collaboration between the library and the Tipp City Area Arts Council recently added a new partner — Tippecanoe Middle School- and will be sharing the littleBits Kits and Raspberry Pi Kits to provide Makerspace programming at the library and the Middle School. If you are interested in trying the littleBits Kits, check the Library’s Calendar of Events at www.tippcitylibrary.org for dates of upcoming programs and new projects in the Tinker Lab and Creative Corner.