Philadelphia, PA: LEAP/Maker

LEAP/Maker is the merger of the formerly grant-funded Maker Jawn and LEAP. The Free Library’s Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program – LEAP – advances literacy by promoting a love of reading, guides learning with homework assistance, and inspires curiosity by sharing hands-on STEAM, maker, and humanities programs and activities with children and teens. LEAP/Maker expands upon LEAP’s programming focusing on youth-driven maker interests. Our program employs a trauma-informed approach that promotes a feeling of safety through space, content, and personal interactions. LEAP/Maker also promotes social justice by stressing access to resources for underserved populations and offers a diverse range of activities that include culinary literacy, robotics, bike repair, sewing, and 3D sculptures. With in-person programming suspended in 2020 due to COVID, LEAP and our LEAP/Maker activities have moved to social media, as we focus on promoting teen-led projects and at-home schooling tips.

Moving Past Start-Up: Supporting Library Makerspaces Over Time

A group of YOUmedia makerspaces band together to innovate and support library makerspaces facing the opportunities and challenges distinctive to the middle, “post-emergent” years.

The start-up phase of any project is often the most heady—long hours, innovative breakthroughs, visionaries with big ideas. Read the rest »

Understanding the Post-Emergent Phase of a Makerspace

Creating and starting a makerspace is an exciting venture; you build a team and purchase new equipment. There are a lot of resources (people and articles) that describe how emergent makerspaces can get off the ground. Once your makerspace has been open for a few years, you begin to experience challenges that are distinctly different from those start-up challenges, and there are very few, if any, resources that describe what this new, “post-emergent” phase entails. Read the rest »

Fail and Try Again: Maker Jawn at the Free Library gets Philadelphians of all stripes involved in the maker movement

Antony, a 12-year-old seventh grader at Conwell Middle School in Port Richmond, has encountered a few unexpected barriers in testing his hypothesis.

“There are several flaws,” he says about the experiment he just built, a full water bottle with two straws hot glued into it, one of which is topped with a cardboard square. Read the rest »