Salmon Public Library

Picture a room brimming with maker gadgets: LEGO robots, drones, cardboard cutting tools, circuit thread, codable toddler toys, DIY computer games, straws, play-Doh, toilet paper tubes, aluminum foil and more. Maker VISTA members Francesca Bessey and Jesse Hunt transformed this small meeting space into an interactive “play room” for teachers attending a STEAM workshop at the Salmon Public Library in Salmon, ID, this September. The play room, like the workshop, was designed to give educators a feel for facilitated learning, and to introduce them to the awesome resources available at their very own local library. Workshop sessions included a morning crash course in design thinking, and a presentation from an area teacher on how she integrates making in her science and language arts classrooms. The day culminated in a brainstorming exercise, inviting participants to consider how they could incorporate design thinking into one of their own lesson plans or programs. As a follow-up to the workshop, educators will be able to apply for funding and technical assistance from the Maker VISTA team to implement a maker project.

There is no permanent home for the emerging maker space at the Salmon Public Library, but any space can become a makerspace, just as any individual can become a maker. With the right people and the right energy, so much is possible, even in one of the most hard-to-reach towns in America. It was inspiring for Francesca and Jesse, so early in their service, to witness a group of educators coming together, stepping out of their comfort zones and experimenting with new ways of thinking and teaching. They are looking forward to building the relationships initiated through this workshop, and helping the attending teachers transform their ideas into action!

Check out the workshop highlights here.







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