We’re starting Phase 2 of our Rural and Tribal Library Toolkit Development Project.
In Phase 1 of the project, we worked with 8 librarians across the US, and together identified challenges and opportunities that rural and tribal libraries may face when implementing creative STEAM learning programs. We came away with 4 strategies for remixing PLIX activities for rural and tribal contexts: Passive programming, take-and-make kits, locally relevant remixes, and extended interaction plans.
On this thread, you’ll be hearing from the phase 2 participants (a dedicated group of 20 librarians from rural and tribal libraries), who will be sharing their explorations about their process, remixing new learning materials for 5 of our activities:
And while you’re here, please introduce yourselves. Here’s some questions to get started :
- Who are you and where are you from?
- What are you most excited to create, tinker, or experiment?
- What inspires your creations?
- What’s the most unusual created thing you’ve seen?
- Bonus: Share a photo of your unboxed kit (if you received one)!
- You can also share any photos creations you’ve tinkered with so far
My name is Ada and I’m part of the PLIX Team in Cambridge. I’m from Georgia, New York, and China.
I’m looking forward to remixing all the PLIX activities. I especially love working with paper, so you can ask me literally any questions you may have about paper.
My creations are inspired by the people around me, as well as my goal of living a playful and crafting life. In addition to my paper crafts, I’ve made a modular couch (it can be a fort!), clothes (dresses, robes, and more), bags (a sketchbook tote, a cross-body messenger bag with wine pockets), and skincare products.
One of the more unusual created thing I’ve seen is Vanta Black paint. It really absorbs light and my brain is very surprised.
I don’t have a kit but here are some pictures of things I’ve made!
Hi John! Welcome to the forum. I’m looking forward to seeing your Valentine’s card experiment!
Hi everyone! Just a reminder that we’re not restricted to this discussion thread. Feel free to respond to the other posts across the PLIX forum.
Especially check out Avery’s post sharing his draft on How to Remix PLIX activities!
Hi, all! Jumping in to join the toolkit development adventures!
Who are you and where are you from? Avery from the PLIX team here! I’m located in Somerville, MA, where I get lots of inspiration for urban ecology
What are you most excited to create, tinker, or experiment with? While I won’t be running an activity as part of this toolkit development, I’m really excited to see where folks take the PLIX Inflatables activity, in particular. At the onboarding session, I brainstormed some remixes with @april.g, @rxzy, and Michelle Young–we discussed a bit about engaging ideas around sustainability and up-cycling, and tying the remixes into that broader topic. Can’t wait to see what this team develops! (I think @april.g also mentioned tying in a steampunk book club to Inflatables, which make such an interesting combination!)
What inspires your creations? I try to absorb creativity in all forms/mediums/disciplines around me, and I think they help to inspire projects that I’m working on or tinkering with. Recently, I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from photographers (like Jin Lee), contemporary composers (like Sofia Gubaidulina), and movie-makers (like Lucrecia Martel).
What’s the most unusual creation you’ve seen? It’s old(ish) news, but I recently came across a dragonfly-shaped soft robot used for environmental sensing (called DraBot). It combines a bunch of different technologies (remote/in situ sensing; self-healing polymers; bio-inspired design), and strikes me as interesting inspiration for creating Inflatables.
BONUS tinkering photo: I recently ran a workshop about remixing paper circuits to create light-up holiday cards. Here is the result:
My name is Joe Misterovich and I use the pronouns he/him/his. I’m the Youth Services Programming Coordinator at the Sparta Community Branch, which is part of the Christian County Library District, which is in southwest Missouri.
I received the Spatial Poetry kit. I’ve really enjoyed looking through all the supplies and the online materials. I appreciate the theme of investigating space/place/belonging through names of places, and the legacies of violence and colonization embedded in names. I’m excited to create some “low floor, high ceiling” Take and Make kits that tackle this theme in a creative and engaging way. I’ve started playing around with scans of maps and street names- interestingly only a couple streets in Sparta are named after people. There’s lots of food related names: Blackberry Road, Nutmeg Court, Fig Lane that I think have great poetic potential.
Outside of my work at the library, I’m a musician and spend a lot of time recording music at home. I love creating things that make you appreciate sounds that are unusual or outside of what would be considered “music.” I try to do sound-related Take and Makes and programs as much as possible. I’m also very interested in surrealism and collage (visual and audio).
Speaking of surrealism, here’s an unusual created thing I like. It’s an artwork called Object by Meret Oppenheim.
Hi everyone! My name is Katy and I am the director at the Angier Public Library in Angier, NC. I am a transplant to NC, I was raised in MT and moved between FL and VA with the military before ending here. I am also the person here at the library who develops all of our programs, and facilitates the majority of them (I’m working on delegating…50 hour weeks are getting rough), all while also being a single mom to 2 very active boys (9 & 13), 2 dogs, and working on my MLS (i need more hours in the day). I love creating programs and I am so excited to use this project as a starting point for my latest goal of getting a consistent teen/tween program going here at the library. I have a science background with my BS and I absolutely love getting kids excited about science. We will be working on the paper circuits with the project and opening the box up was absolutely like a kid on Christmas (and how did y’all know orange was my favorite color??)
I am an avid gardener, moving recently from veggies to flowers (a cutting garden is my summer goal this year), and I love working on creating and expanding my outdoor space. My patio used to just be grass until the pandemic hit…then I had time to really work on it. We are finalizing a Seed Library set up here at our library, and I can’t wait to donate some of my own seeds for the community. If you’ve heard that tiktok sound “it will never be enough”…that is my mantra with my plants!
Yeah, Avery! I was interested in inflatables because we did a simple version using fans and fused plastic bags as a hands-on activity paired with a YA bookclub after reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. The series is set in an alternate version of WWI where people traveled via air either in steam powered machines or genetically fabricated floating creatures - such as airwhales and giant jellyfish like creatures. Truly, an interesting read and a fun way to segue into hands-on STEM.
Joe, you’re so close to my library here in NW Arkansas - neat! Is Sparta considered as part of the Ozarks ? I’m curious about your sound related take & makes - can you give an example?
I’m April, and I’ve lived in Eureka Springs, Arkansas (the Ozarks!) for the past decade, but before that I lived in Denver, CO; London, England; and I’m originally from San Antonio, TX.
I’m a huge permaculture enthusiast and my undergraduate studies were in industrial design, so I love finding ways to upcycle and incorporate discarded items, or what others might consider waste (using edges and valuing the marginal) into new, beautiful and useful creations. My house is one example of this - we built it out of retired shipping containers and have all sorts of other upcycled elements as part of it, including a wine bottle window in the bathroom, roof trusses that were reclaimed from a chicken house and our front sunroom that’s composed of old windows. If you’re curious you can see pictures of it on this online museum exhibit about the tradition of “making do” - I promise I’m not trying to brag, it’s just easier than finding and uploading individual pictures.
My home will always probably be a work in progress- I am currently working on building out my back porch green roof, which is about to house a rabbit hutch made out of an old table, reclaimed windows and hardware cloth that I rescued from the dumpster.
I am inspired by the organic world and love biomimicry. For example, as a beekeeper and general curious human, I find this sculpture by artist Wolfgang Buttress to be incredible, and I want to experience it in person one day.
I haven’t received an inflatables kit yet but I am super excited to get started with this!
Welcome Joe! On the topic of surrealism X music X spatial poetry, have you heard of the pobblebonk frog? They’re found in eastern Australia and sound like a banjo being plucked. Also their name is fun to say.
You made your own upcycled house! This is totally the place to
brag share your creations. That’s incredible. @averymsnormandin @binka Let’s make a new PLIX activity: Upcycled House!
Oh sweet! Yes, Sparta is definitely part of the Ozarks, we’re about 30 minutes southeast of Springfield, Missouri.
I did this Bee Hummer noisemaker from Exploratorium as a take and make recently. It makes an incredible sound, like a swarm of bees! I’ve also done wax paper/cardboard tube kazoos, plastic egg maracas, craft stick harmonicas, and a “remix” of an instrument called a cuíca with styrofoam cup + plastic straws. These were all for kids and families. I like things that blur the line of noisemaker/musical instrument.
Yay, Katie! I love seeing your garden patio - grass is such a waste of good garden space. And kudos on starting a seed library - your community is going to LOVE it!
We can now embed slides ! Check out the Kickoff & Onboarding presentation below:
Hi! My name is Bailey Bolton and I am the library manager of the Whitesburg Public Library here in Carroll County, GA just west of Atlanta.
I am excited to tinker with the paper circuits before we run our project! I am not too familiar with circuitry in general, so I am super excited to create and learn myself.
I would say my creations are inspired by my interests as well as my talents. I often pick something that I feel I am good at, and make variations of that thing based on all my interests!
The most unusual created thing I have seen recently was the passenger door handle of a new car! Instead of being almost in the middle of the door as usual, the handle was actually close up to the roof! It was really interesting to me, as I also started to wonder where they placed the mechanisms inside! The car was a Toyota CH-R, if anyone is interested!
Here is my paper circuits kit!
This is not something I have tinkered with personally, but here is a picture of the most recent build on our Lego wall at the library! The kids have surprised me recently with making their builds more 3D as opposed to being flat on the wall like I would have done. Super neat!
Hi Katy! I am also a gardener, and I LOVE your garden space! Gardening with flowers is my favorite, but recently I have become mildly addicted to house plants (thanks, cold winter!). I would love to start a seed library here at my little library. How neat! I am hoping that sometime soon I can start beginning construction on my very own greenhouse! It would be DIY project using scrap wood and a bunch of old window panes we have from an older house, but I think I can do it!