November 22, 2017

Hosting Tech Camps | The Digital Shift

As community centers, libraries are always looking for new ways to offer educational programming. Some libraries have been fortunate enough to incorporate complete Maker spaces in their buildings, but for those that don’t have the funding or space, all is not lost. Using existing areas and the help of community members, libraries can easily host tech camps (coding, robotics, and more) for patrons.

Nancy Andrus | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Educators

“Nancy is fearless about trying out new ideas and teaching herself new skills,” says Susan Kaplan, who supervises Andrus, a youth services librarian at the Sunnyvale Public Library, CA. Andrus noticed that, while popular, youth STEM/STEAM [science, technology, engineering, arts, and math]–based programming in the library was primarily attracting boys. “When we ran a coding camp, the 20 spots quickly filled with 17 boys and three girls, and the girls dropped out,” Andrus recalls. “I wanted to help level the playing field by creating an environment in which girls could thrive, feel empowered, and be inspired to pursue STEM.” After winning a competitive grant from the Pacific Library Partnership, Andrus developed the Make-HER program, workshops aimed at girls eight to 12, plus their mothers or other adult women. That’s “a period during which studies show girls begin to lose interest and confidence in STEM pursuits,” says Kaplan.