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Buda Public Library Pop Up Makerspace Hits Over 1,000 Users!
The Buda Public Library’s Pop Up Makerspace has hit a milestone! In November 2016, the library began rotating the makerspace to local Buda secondary schools. Since that time it has provided a hands-on educational experience for over 1,000 students!
The pop up makerspace has traveled to Barton Middle School, Dahlstrom Middle School, McCormick Middle School, and Hays High School. In addition, Buda Public Library hosts a monthly Maker Monday program at the library on the first Monday of each month at 4:30 p.m. As of March 23, 2017, the makerspace has served 1,233 students both on school campuses and during the Buda Public Library’s Maker Monday program.
“It has been so much fun facilitating the Pop Up Makerspace Program and seeing the excitement that these students have about learning and inventing. This program really allows the students to be innovative and what they create often surpasses what I imagined the materials could be used for. The best part about this program is that I get to learn along with the students, working with them until we’ve figured out the best way to finish a project,” said Buda Public Library Youth Coordinator Caitlin Foley.
This project was made possible by grant funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The Buda Public Library was awarded a grant of $14,255 to create the Pop Up Makerspace.
The makerspace allows students to invent and create by utilizing a variety of tools and materials. It originally started circulating with 3D pens, a button maker, littleBits, Arduino based robots, and various circuit materials.
“My students often ask when the Buda [Pop Up] Makerspace will be coming back and look forward to the projects they know the makerspace will bring,” said McCormick Middle School Librarian Amy Schutze. “There are many students who plan their enrichment activities based on when the makerspace grant will be arriving at our school.”
Over the last few months, the makerspace has grown to include sphero robots, modular cubelet robots, yarn and sewing materials, general crafts, and engineering blocks.
“Every visit has been met with enthusiasm, the next visit is always highly-anticipated, and students often ask for the tools even when the Makerspace is not on our campus! The tools and resources provided through this grant have definitely been beneficial to our school,” said Dahlstrom Middle School Librarian Ana Garcia.
Preliminary survey results indicate that 95% of students leave the makerspace with more confidence in technology and engineering.
“I first imagined the library as a passive place for quiet study, now I see that it is fun and interactive,” said a seventh-grade student at Dahlstrom Middle School.
The Pop Up Makerspace will continue to travel to secondary schools that serve Buda. Maker Monday will be held the first Monday of the month at 4:30 during the school year at the Buda Public Library. For a look at all library events, go to www.budalibrary.org.