New makerspace minikits are here!

Visit your local library for yours

Don’t miss out on a chance to receive your makerspace minikit! The Circuits and Bots minikits are available now at your neighborhood library. These kits are intended for teens, tweens, and youth under 13 years old with recommended supervision. 

Makerspace minikits are STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) based activities in a bag. Each series shows kids how to be creative in interpreting the materials and making the final product. The minikits come with instructions in several languages: Russian, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Nicole Newsom, Judith Guzman-Montes, Desiree Wolcott-Cushman, and Melody Hamaker (pictured) along with other staff have been working behind the scenes to assemble thousands of kits.

“For this series, bristlebots are what I’ve worked on the most,” says Melody. “We receive materials in bulk, and then someone takes one of each item and makes sure we have all the components needed in a bag. To make these kits we have volunteers and staff working on them. It’s a mini assembly line each time.”

Staff assembling craft mini kits

The minikits currently available explore circuitry and the flow of energy. Youth can move electricity from a light to an LED using conductive materials; make a complete circuit; learn about parallel circuits; and experiment with making an on/off switch. Young patrons can learn, build and play by making a paper circuit card, light-up bugs, and bristlebots.” 

Mom and child holding minikit bag

Pictured are library patrons Marcos and his mom, Angeles, receiving their first minikit.

Each minikit series builds on the skills from the last, although patrons do not need to have done the previous series to participate in upcoming ones. 

“This was amazing and such a joy for the kids to do on a rainy day,” said one patron about the bridges minikits series.  

Other patrons have provided feedback saying that the minikits inspire them to do more at home projects. For the catapult minikit, one patron mentioned that the “rocket was the best part.”

The makerspace minikits are made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation. The minikits started as a way to offer at-home programming for youth while libraries were closed due to the pandemic. Previous to this, the Rockwood Library makerspace regularly hosted STEAM-based programs for teens. The space was designed for teens to hang out, learn new skills like movie making, video game design, computer coding and other advanced technology skills. Teens often visited after school and on weekends, creating robots, using the  3D printer and even completing projects with a laser cutter. The Rockwood makerspace first opened in 2016, which was made possible by the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission and The Library Foundation. 

There are two more scheduled minikits coming out in the next few months. 

  • Fiber arts minikit will be available beginning May 28, 2022. This minikit explores the art and science of fabric, through measuring, problem solving and sequencing patterns.
  • The soft circuits minikits will be available on June 4, 2022. In this series, experiment with circuit building and move electricity to a light. 

Library patrons can receive one minikit series per person, while supplies last.The minikits are free and include all materials.

Thank you to The Library Foundation.