Making and Breaking at the Houghton Lake Public Library


The energy of children at the Houghton Lake Public more than made up for the gloomy rainy day outside. The Houghton Lake Public Library and the team from UMSI had arranged a Mother’s Day themed, two hour workshop for kids.

3D Printing

The Youth Services Librarian Sarah Maddox had already 3D printed hearts from a clear filament that the children could color using sharpies. This, along with pre printed coloring cards made the cutest mother’s day gifts ever.



We had also set up three 3D printers that the children could use to print their own designs. We used the Cookie Caster website to build the designs. It is simple and easy to use and we were stunned by the creativity the children showed in making these designs. They ranged from alphabets to jaws and moustaches. What was even more impressive was that the kids improved upon their designs iteratively, changing the shape, size and color to make the designs more interesting. We were thrilled to see such impressive prototyping skills at work.

The toy take apart station

This was a high energy activity that drew the children’s attention right away. We had brought some toys that had electronic components in them that the kids could take apart and understand how they worked. It was so interesting to see that most of the children were familiar and comfortable with the use of tools and took the toys apart in minutes. Together, we discovered speakers, motors, lights and the many minute parts that worked together to bring those toys to life.


The Google cardboard

Virtual Reality seems to be in every conversation these days and it surely was not going to be missing in this workshop. We had brought along a Google Cardboard and a phone that the children could watch some short VR movies on. This was a fun activity that gave the kids something to do while they were waiting for their design to be 3D printed or taking a break from the other activities.


Houghton Lake Public Library was the perfect start for this summer. With its cozy library, friendly librarian and vibrant young minds, HLPL has us looking forward to our next trip there.

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