After surveying Illinois libraries, we turned our energies toward prototyping - putting together test kits and selecting pilot libraries.
We’ve started with 5 kits and 5 libraries:
The LittleBits Circuit Kit is currently being testing at Prospect Heights Public Library in Prospect Heights, IL. This mid-size suburban Chicago library has done some STEM programming in the past and they are currently using the LittleBits for an experiment table in their youth services department.
Our Silkscreening Kit went to the Fondulac District Library in East Peoria, IL. This being the messiest and most hands-on of the kits, we weren’t sure how a library might use it. Fondulac is planning a t-shirt design program with their teens.
The Robotics Kits (consisting of two sphero balls, two dot & dash, and a mini ipad) is being experimented with at the Champaign Public Library in Champaign, IL. This library serves a large community and is being used by the teen librarian. Their feedback so far has indicated that teens like to drive the robots around for fun and that the robots might work best in an open lab vs a structured program.
The 3D Printing Kit (with a Dremel Idea Builder) is spending the summer at Walnut Public Library in Walnut, IL. This is a very small, rural community and community interest in the 3D printer is building slowly. The librarian will be demoing the printer for summer reading participants.
The Silhouette Cameo Cutter is currently in use at the Villa Park Public Library in Villa Park, IL.
We are still in the testing and feedback stage with all our kits. For kits that are successful, we will purchase more copies, so that multiple kits can be circulated at one time.