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UDPL Receives an Out of School Time Tinkering Kit Grant!

Molly Kane, Head of Teen Services and Emerging Technologies

One October 1, library director Cheri Fiory and our children’s librarian, Jenn Roberts, received one of the BEST kinds of emails – one that informed them that UDPL had been selected as a recipient of an Office of Commonwealth Libraries grant! This science grant provides a HUGE collection of materials for us to use in our STEAM Lab and with our STEAM programs for students of all ages. We’re incredibly grateful to have been awarded the following new tech tools and equipment as part of the Out of School Time Tinkering Kit Grant:

Ozobots x2
Chrome Books x2
iPads x2
K’NEX Maker Kits x2
BeeBots x2
Buddha boards x2
Let’s Code Game
Digital Camera
Fabrication Software and a Silhouette Digital Fabricator
A Bloxels Education Kit and Account
Animation Kit
Paper Circuits
3Dux Go Box Pro LED set
$25 Apple card
Duct Tape Design Kit

We are slowly receiving the new tools and have been incorporating them into our programs. Here’s a closer look at just a few of the activities we’ve already done!

A student creating a video game character using a Bloxel play board.

One of the first new tools we used were the Bloxels kits. These allow students to create video games and characters to play in those games using tangible cubes. The designs they create in the “real world” can then be scanned into the Bloxels iPad app to become video game designs! Here’s a sample game that was designed by Maeve, one of UDPL’s high school volunteers and played by Alyssa, another student volunteer!
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A Bee Bot robot going through a paper maze.The grant also allowed us to add two robots to our collection! Here’s a maze challenge Mr. Brandon (who will soon be running a new coding workshop for middle school students) designed just for our new Bee Bots!

We are also excited to have received a few new items to support the A (Art) in STEAM. Among them are a pair of Buddha Boards. These special boards allow young

Two children painting on Buddha Boards.

artists to paint with water – no messy paint or ink – and then watch their designs disappear as the water evaporates. We had both Buddha Boards out during last week’s Full STEAM Ahead event and I was shocked by the way kids of all ages – elementary, middle, high school, preschool – and adults were drawn to them. There’s something pretty wonderful about watching your artwork disappear!

UDPL is incredibly grateful to the Office of Commonwealth Libraries for the generosity of the grant and we are looking forward to incorporating all of our grant materials in to programs in 2020!

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