Learning Launchpad: Resources for Educators
Enhance Learning with Making
Incorporating making in classroom or library settings can enhance traditional learning. Maker projects can allow students to solve a problem using STEM, while also combining with the arts, English, history, or any other subject.
This section includes resources to find project ideas and build lesson plans which meet national education standards, a variety of program options that our Librarians have created, and a guidebook for building your own mobile makerspace.
- Invent to Learn book
- MIT Soft Circuit Guide (PDF, 3.01 MB)
- Global Cardboard Challenge
- Hour of Code
- Exploratorium Teaching and Learning Tools
- Make it @ Your Library
- Resource Area for Teaching
- OER Commons
Ages 12–18 years:
- Masking Tape Shoes (PDF, 140.82 KB): Learn about the principles and elements of 3D design by crafting a realistic masking tape shoe.
- Engineering for Change (PDF, 126.49 KB): Engineer for change by designing a product in response to an important issue impacting your community.
- Play in Darkness: Shadow Puppetry Meets Tech (PDF, 148.06 KB): Design your own shadow puppet using the vinyl cutter while learning about the history of shadow play and puppetry.
- Just in Queso: The Tasty Science of Cheese (PDF, 321.33 KB): Learn about the science and history of cheese making, all while making your own queso fresco.
- Light Graffiti: Painting with LEDs (PDF, 125.69 KB): Make the world your canvas using DIY flashlights and create striking photos with your friends!
- Geodesic Greenhouse Domes (PDF, 136.76 KB): Participants are challenged to make a geodesic dome greenhouse that will sustain plants in various environments.
Ages 6–12 years:
- Book Keepsake Challenge: What Story Could it Be? (PDF, 1.03 MB): Teams will use multiple tools to design and build objects representing their favorite novel without using words.
- Scribble Bot Challenge (PDF, 141.52 KB): Upcycle commonly found items and create your very own motorized drawing machine.
- Disaster Relief Team: Egg Drop Challenge (PDF, 119.83 KB): Design and build a device that will safely drop from three different heights without breaking the fragile cargo.
- Shiny Selfies: Mexican Tin Art Self Portraits (PDF, 655.56 KB): In the style of hojalatas, tin art made in Mexico, artists will emboss their likeness into a tin portrait.
This guide book (PDF, 3.92 MB) will give you best practices and tips for creating your own mobile makerspace. It could be a vehicle built from the ground up, as we have done in San José, a box truck renovation, or even boxes filled with supplies that are brought out into the community for programming. Regardless of the form factor, you will learn how to engage your community with STEAM learning activities outside of the library walls.
Who is this guide for?
This guide is for libraries and librarians that are looking to expand their maker and/or STEAM programming. Having a basic understanding of Design Thinking or the willingness to learn is critical to the success of the project. There are several guides which can help you learn more about Design Thinking, including IDEO’s Design Thinking for Libraries and the Design Thinking Quick Start Guide.