Maker Expo Librarian Style!

Number of activities: 70
Number of towns represented: 65
Number of participants: 600
Price of admission: $0
An exhausting, fun filled day of inquiry and making – Priceless!

I’ve been to several Maker Faires® – New York City, Washington (DC), Rochester (NY), and even the Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire held in stores nationwide (Bay Shore, Long Island) where I ran a table of activities. Last year, my colleague, Kristina Holzweiss, and I traveled to the inaugural National Maker Faire in DC where we ran a booth for two days working with children to create lasting memories with recyclable materials. Exhausting but rewarding. We even got to meet Dale Dougherty, CEO and Founder of Maker Faire & Make Media. Well actually, we kind of jumped him at the end of the two-day event when everyone was packing up to go home. Tired as he no doubt was, he graciously spoke with us and took photos. Did I mention it was 95⁰ and humid all weekend? Thank you, Dale for humoring two insane librarians from NY.

Dale kris me

Last Saturday, May 7, 2016 we hosted our 2nd Annual Maker Expo, SLIME. Students of Long Island Maker Expo (SLIME) is an interactive Day of Making where participants experienced hands-on activities that promoted imagination and creativity. From recyclable crafts to robotic technology, together families had fun learning new skills and making new friends. SLIME celebrates the creativity and innovation of Long Island students k – 12. Students made items to take home, items to donate, participated in hands-on learning activities, and watched demonstrations.

So why is this maker event different from all others? (Sorry, as I write this I’m still finishing off the last of the Passover matzah.  Some of you got this reference, some of you will have to google it 🙂 )

Well, first off – we’re librarians!!!

  • Librarians like to share and like everything in a library, we give it away for FREE. Kristina spends all year writing grants and together we track down sponsors. Some sponsors give cash, some swag. There’s another librarian trait…we’re always scrounging for funds! We’ve never charged admission or for any of the maker activities offered.
  • We focus on providing enriching opportunities for our community, in this case Long Island (NY). Kris and I are from two separate school districts and we invited all on Long Islanders to participate. We even had a librarian from Connecticut drive down! The more the merrier 🙂 What can I say? Librarians –we’re all inclusive!
  • As school librarians we embrace STEM/STEAM/STREAM learning; never forgetting the Arts or, our bread & butter, Research.

I’m happy to be part of something so amazing. Please view some of the day’s events at www.slimemakerexpo.com and at Twitter @SLIMEexpo (#SLIMEexpo).

 

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