At Rostraver Library, we strive to fill our space with opportunities to advance learning, community, and discovery. Sometimes, a standard walk through the library doesn’t offer patrons the full picture of our resources and creative nooks. This post is the first of a series that will shine a spotlight on different sections of the library. First up – the Challenge Room/Makerspace!
This area is located in what patrons commonly know as the Book Sale Room. You can find it by making the first right as you walk into the building. The room is past the bathrooms at the end of the hallway, and it is free to use during library hours. Although this room is packed with different uses and purposes, there is still ample space for exploring the book sale or working on a project.
When you walk in, you may see the shelves crowded with bins and boxes. These are organized and labeled so you can have easy access for your creative project. Some of the supplies include crayons, markers, paint tools, tape, scissors, paper towels, stamps, and more. On the far right shelf, we have various puzzles, mazes, building sets, and activity packs available for in-library use. All of these materials on the wooden shelves are part of the Makerspace and can be used in projects.
The metal shelves on the right half of the room contain the Challenge Trays and other technology for learning opportunities. Currently, we have four Challenge Trays along with other assorted robotics and materials. The concept behind the Challenge Trays is to develop STEM learning and provide opportunities for children and their families to learn together.
An example of our Challenge Trays is the Simple Machines tray. This green wooden bin contains a reference sheet with learning prompts, resources, and explanation on simple machines. From there, participants can explore the box of activity cards that lay out the different types of simple machines and challenge the learner to build them using the simple machines kit. In addition to these central pieces, there are various machine parts (slinky, clasps, etc.) to foster more building possibilities.
Thanks to generous donations, we are able to provide Simple Machines, Builder, Lego, and Paper Craft Challenge Trays. We also offer patrons access to Dash and Dot robots and a Snap Circuit kit. Dash and Dot is geared towards ages 6+ and Snap Circuits are for ages 8+, but ages can vary depending on the participant. This technology must be used within the library and the patrons are responsible for them while in use.
We also have a large mobile white board that offers patrons the opportunity to share what they learned or tested during their time with the Challenge Trays and other activities. This place for feedback is important for developing a sense of community and ongoing discovery, so please offer your comments and results after you’re finished!
As you look around the Challenge Room/Makerspace/Book Sale Room, you can spot more and more ways to stretch your imagination and build learning experiences. This room invites exploration, so carve out some time and delve into this creative space!