Being part of the “Make-It” experiment at Salmon Public Library has been truly gifting to me. Of the course of six months I’ve learned how to interact in ways never before taught whether it’s through facilitating a child to reach their potential or encouraging an adult to get over the fear of technology. As I chart my way through this landscape of STEM programming and it’s relationship with libraries I’m finding so many unexpected turns that bring me sheer delight offering me a sense of accomplishment I never got from a previous corporate environment.
Anytime a patron (most likely a child) comes in to interact with the Maker Space I created in the corner to participate in some “challenge” I’ve set for them, I feel like a proud papa. While they are getting an added benefit from attending the library I get overjoyed that someone is using something I’ve created. I love to wander over and see the struggles and triumphs of each as they manipulate the tools present and watch their brains analyze problems and come up with potential solutions I honestly never thought of. Yesterday in the “Marble Maze” challenge again a young out of the box future Maker stunned me. After my straight forward thinking about making a marble maze like the one’s we’d created in our conference was imminent I was struck by the creativity of this young boy. He said, “Well at first I thought I had to create it so the marble would drop from the top and fall down the board, but it does say marble “maze” and this is more of a maze.” He build a flat labyrinth maze complete with balancing levels to navigate the marble through the maze. Pure genius. I beamed with delight. It’s these type of results that I could never plan for, never expect, and yet when they come, it makes me want to engage more. Of course it’s a maze, and had I called it a Marble Run this result may have never been possible. After first getting down on himself for not interpreting directions I explained to him the magic of the Maker Space. In which there is no “right” way, it’s your way. What you create is your vision. And your vision is brilliant. He then offered me to attempt his marble maze in which I failed many times before bringing the marble back home.
So thank you to all who participate. This has truly been a lesson in life, like most are, but the reflections have come faster then most other lessons. Keep up the ingenuity and excitement as I will try and keep up the challenges. Until the next challenge!