Google Cardboard Workshop in Ann Arbor

Cardboard Viewers

On Tuesday, June 6, we held a workshop on using Google Cardboard for librarians and educators around Ann Arbor.

We discussed the possibilities of using 360 video and Google Expeditions (thanks to North Quad and U of M ITS for helping us out!) in libraries.

We also spent some time — since we are makers at heart — creating our own panoramas and Photospheres using free apps with Google Cardboard.

Google Cardboard Camera GooGle Street View

If you want to check out the slides from that event, find them here.

Particiipant Cardboard

If you’d like to come to any of our future events, find them here — we’re just getting warmed up!

Puppetry Workshop in Ann Arbor

 

IMG_0096We had the pleasure this week of running a puppet making workshop right here in Ann Arbor! We focused on the Bunraku style of puppetry, which originated in Japan and is known for its naturalistic movements. The slides and resources for this workshop, including the instructions for puppet making, can be found here.

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We started out making tabletop puppets, to get used to the process and to experiment with Bunraku-style movement – focusing on the breath, focus, and weight of the puppet.

 

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These puppets were made from printer paper and invisible tape, with optional paper clips to help control the arms.

 

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After that, we moved on to making near-life size puppets, this time using newsprint paper and masking tape.

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Our participants made quick work of the large puppets and soon enough we were acting out skits with the Bunraku style of puppetry, which requires three people to control one puppet. From business men on the moon to nurses in a 1920s speakeasy, the puppets began to come to life!

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Now these puppets can take a well-deserved break after their morning of hard work. Thanks for everybody who came out, we had blast working with you all! Again, the resources can be found here and if you are interested in attending our other workshops this summer, they can be found here.

Creating Design Challenge Workshop in Ann Arbor

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This morning from 10am to noon we had 7 participants from southeastern Michigan attend our inaugural workshop on Creating Design Challenges. We had a good mix of both school and public librarians as well as experience levels.

A collection of documents (rubrics, methods, and slides + a shopping list of materials we used!) is located here!

DesignChallengeGame

We started the day off with a short (or “tiny”) Design Challenge based on our Making in Michigan Libraries-created Design Thinking Game. By chance, we were creating something to help a mermaid organize — but wait, we also had to make sure to not introduce new things as our particular mermaid’s constraint was that she didn’t like new things!

MermaidLegoDesignChallenge

In small groups our participants used a material they were familiar with — Legos — to create organizational inventions for our hypothetical mermaid. As we debriefed and continued to think about the why and the how of design challenges, we also discussed best practices for implementing them and different lengths for different focuses.

BenExplainsDesignChallenges

We then introduced a second Design Challenge with a less familiar — but still inexpensive — material: Strawbees! We changed up our groups for variety’s sake and had participants consider the challenge, prototype, and finally pitch a commercial for the “something to help a fisherman relax”!

StrawbeeDesignChallenge

We had a great time pitching, even showing off a Strawbee umbrella! Look at our complete album of photos here.

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If this sounds interesting (or just downright fun) check out our other events coming up this summer!

Frankenmuth Maker Idea Swap and Gathering Financial Support

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On May 8th, we had the pleasure of going to the Frankenmuth Wickson District Library to do a Maker Idea Swap. It was so great to hear about the great programs people are running in their libraries, and learn from their experiences! We accompanied the discussion with a Toy Takeapart activity, so with busy hands and active minds we got to work!

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Our notes from the event can be found here. Thanks to all of the librarians and educators who came out to participate in a fantastic discussion!  33690775884_8b38a6be73_oThen, we spend the afternoon discussing ways to gather financial support for activities or programs that our participants would like to implement in their libraries! The materials for that session can be found here.
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If you are interested in our other events this summer, you can register here!

Spring Fair @ Benzonia Public Library

On March 18th, the Benzonia Public Library hosted a spring fair with the student athlete from the local schools. The children in the community got to try their hands on crafts, face painting, and t-shirt painting. These were accompanied by fun activities like reading, Corn bag tossing, bowling and a photo booth made possible by different members of the community.

Here are a  few images from the event:

Spring Fair
Spring Fair
A good Friends t-shirt
A good Friends t-shirt
Handpainting a t-shirt
Handpainting a t-shirt
Header that reads "Getting Started with Design Thinking"

Saginaw Design Thinking Workshop

Flyer for Design Thinking Workshop in Saginaw on March 11

Kamya, Ben, and I were happy to be at the main Hoyt Library at Public Libraries of Saginaw this morning to talk about design thinking as a frame for creative thinking and hands-on making.

Here is our slide deck.

Here is the downloadable design thinking game (with word-based prompts).

Here is the downloadable design thinking game (with image-based prompts).

Need anything else? Email us at contactmichiganmakers [at] umich [dot] edu.

Thanks!

Kristin

Cardboard Challenge @ Benzonia Public Library

The Benzonia Public Library held a cardboard challenge on Saturday, 18th February.

Benzonia Cardboard Challenge

Publicizing Cardboard Challenge

Kids and adults alike went to town on the piles of cardboard stocked up in the Mills Auditorium. This wonderful community showed us that thinking outside the box came naturally to them.

Here are some of the cardboard creations from the event:

Cardbord Giraffe
Cardbord Giraffe
A Cardboard Robot
A Cardboard Robot in the making

It was great to see so much creativity in one place. For more photos, checkout the flickr album.

Header that reads "Getting Started with Design Thinking"

Getting Started with Design Thinking (Benzonia)

Flyer for Getting Started with Design Thinking. You can view the details in a machine-readable version at https://www.eventbrite.com/edit?eid=30226120139

Hello! Kamya and I are tickled to be back in Benzonia today, hosting a half-day workshop on design thinking for librarians and educators working with teens.

You can find the slides here.

If you’d like to try your hand at our prototyped design thinking game, click here for a word-based version and here for a pictorial version.

If you’d like to join us on Saturday, March 11, for another variation of this workshop in Saginaw, click here to register for free.

Sketch from design thinking activity at Benzonia Public Library

Teacher Librarian article on Design Thinking

Many of you enjoyed using design thinking as a framing structure to help making fit more tightly into your curriculum. Thanks to the publisher, I’m able to share my latest “Makerspaces” column on design thinking from Teacher Librarian..

Full citation: Fontichiaro, Kristin. 2016. “Inventing products with design thinking: Balancing structure with open-ended thinking.” Teacher Librarian 44:2, December, 53-55.