Spark Labs

26 Nov The Hour of Code is Coming!

We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly depend on understanding how technology works. But only a tiny fraction of us are learning how technology works, and...

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16 Oct After School at the Library

Sooooooooo bored after school? Bust the boredom! You've got options! Come to one of these library events: Anime Club: Wednesdays, 3:00pm - 4:00pm. Meet up with other teen anime fans, we will talk, watch, and explore all things anime! Dates: November 7 Fandom Friday: First Friday of the month, 3:00pm...

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11 May STEAM: M is for Math

This is the final instalment of a series on STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. This post is about the last letter in the acronym: Math. One household mathematician said: “One friend from Sesame Street, plus one friend from Sesame Street, equals two friends...

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07 May Get Ready for Cycling

Welcome to May, warm weather, and National Bike Month 2018! There are loads of reasons to ride your bike to work, to school, or for just for fun. Cycling positively impacts your health and the environment. According to Cycling Weekly magazine online, cycling: Helps build muscle...

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18 Apr STEAM: A is for Art

Art-----defined by Webster's dictionary as skill acquired by experience, study, or observation. Where would science, technology, engineering, art and math be without the skill acquired by knowledge, study and observation? Many of the great inventions, discoveries, and breakthroughs wouldn't have happened.  This the is the...

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21 Feb Make a Difference: Chew Toys

La Porte County Public Library received a grant from the Young Adult Library Services Association and Dollar General to fund a series of projects led by La Porte teens. This series is called “Make a Difference”. Throughout 2018, teens will be invited to help make...

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09 Feb Schedule a Field Trip!

Your La Porte County Public Library is full of surprises! The Library still has books, DVDs, video games, music CDs, and digital collections. The library also has Lego-Mindstorms, 3-D printers, a heat press, a personal die-cut machine and soldering equipment. The library teaches valuable STEAM skills...

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13 Nov Scan Precious Photos and Film

If you have been putting off digitally archiving all of your priceless original photos, then wait no longer. Spark Labs now offers the capability of digitizing photos, negatives, and slides. The Espon V800 Photo Color Scanner is super easy to use. Simply position photos on the...

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31 Aug Spark Labs Launches Open Lab Hours

Starting Friday, September 1, 2017, Spark Labs will host open lab hours at the Main Library. We are excited to provide this space where people of all ages can get together and informally learn STEAM related technologies. It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills...

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27 May Spark Labs Club

Do you enjoy hands-on engineering challenges? What about working with robots or making your own art? Kids and teens, expand your knowledge of science, technology, engineering, art, and math at a different branch of the Library each week! You'll get to take part in challenging activities and...

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26 Apr Coding in the Classroom Workshops

Through a generous donation from the Unity Foundation of La Porte County, the Library has purchased coding and robotics equipment. This fall, teachers can borrow Bitsbox, Lego WeDo, and Ozobot curriculum kits for up to 6 weeks. So that educators feel equipped to use these kits in their...

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03 Dec STEAM Stocking Stuffers

As I travel to different schools and children's groups to teach Spark Labs lessons on STEAM skills like computer programming, 3D technology, electronics and robotics, I hear the same 2 questions from adults and kids: "Where can I buy that?!?!" and "How much does it cost?" So,...

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10 Oct Spark Labs 101: Coding

At La Porte County Public Library we offer high-quality free instruction in robotics, 3D design and printing, soldering and more at our scheduled Spark Labs maker classes. Sometimes with busy schedules, it can be difficult to carve out a specific time to register for a scheduled class....

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23 Aug Spark Labs 101: MaKey MaKey

How do you turn bananas into a musical keyboard? Or how about turning Play Doh into a DIY game controller? With a MaKey MaKey, of course. It’s magic. Well, not really. But the MaKey MaKey technology in our Spark Labs might make you think it’s magic....

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08 Aug Spark Labs 101: 3D Printing

If you’re like me, when you first learned 3D printing existed you might have thought it was a made up technology.  How could a printer actually print off tools, spare parts, jewelry, key chains, edible chocolate?  (Do I have your attention now?)  We traditionally associate...

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21 Jun Summer of Making

Makers and builders and doers unite! It’s summer vacation time and National Week of Making June 17-23. Let’s get creative and make something! Looking for project ideas? Instructables.com is a great place to start. This website hosts thousands of project ideas with instructions and great photos...

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10 Jun Become a Master Coder Today!

Coding can be an ominous word and task reserved for an elite club of computer enthusiasts.   A quick poll of library staff revealed that learning to code would probably be “difficult,” “time-consuming,” and “definitely not fun.”  So why would we, those of us that organize...

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04 Mar Celebration of Banners ’16 – The La Porte County Public Library Bicentennial Legacy Project

Along with the City of La Porte, Business Improvement District Committee, the La Porte County Public Library is pleased to announce Celebration of Banners '16! design contest. This is the Library's Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Project. It celebrate community spirit, enhances the visual appeal of the downtown...

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26 Feb Meet Dash!

It is easy to assume that working with robots is best done with older ages.  After all, robots must be expensive and fragile and hard to understand.  How could younger children possibly use robots?   That’s just what we set out to do when we ordered...

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25 Jan Snow Day Science

Cooped up in the house with energetic, curious little minds? Try some hands-on science activities! La Porte County has been hit with some brutally frigid weather this January. In anticipation of snow days to come, I've stocked up on some books and activities to keep my...

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21 Dec Community Collaboration

"You can never underestimate the power of a community collaboration." - Kristi Chadderdon, Public Relations Professional, La Porte County Public Library What do you get when you mix creativity with skilled people and determination? Exciting innovation and new opportunities for everyone in the community to learn! This...

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30 Nov Starter Apps for 3D Modeling

Do you know a youngster (or someone young at heart!) who is interested in learning how to create some 3D models? We have a couple of fun apps to recommend to get started modeling and become familiar with the 3D environment. Tinkerplay is an app with...

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17 Sep Making Makers in Our Spark Labs

Maker Mondays were a big hit summer of 2015 at the library. We taught classes on 3D modeling in Tinkercad, 3D printing, 3D scanning, 3D file editing, and soldering. Children, teens, parents, and grandparents all learned about new technology as well as learned new skills....

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