Last week, we hosted another fantastic LEGO Mindstorms program. This time, it was up to the builders to decide what they were going to do. Each group was given a simple base model to start with and told to let their creativity take over. We didn't know what to expect, but were amazed when each group came up with a completely different robot. It was truly impressive to witness the creativity and smarts it took to design and program the robots. Great job to all who participated!
Watch the video below to catch a glimpse of the fun, and keep an eye out for our next Mindstorms program.
In the most recent Scratch Animation class, the group learned how move their characters using the arrow keys, have "enemies" move randomly, and how to make character's disappear to signify the end of the game. The examples below are really impressive games that took a lot of hard work. Great job!
To learn more about Scratch, see our previous post: Scratch Animation
The library hosted two sessions of game design over winter break. We used Scratch to make two types of games. The first session made a maze and the second made a "stay away" game. Congratulations to all of the game designers. Have fun playing the games!
Click the following link for a complete list of games: Games
To learn more about Scratch or to download the program, see our previous post.
Toontastic is a fun and creative way to teach young readers about story arcs. Using the iPad app, authors are able to narrate and animate their characters in order to tell a story. The prescribed scenes are presented in an easy-to-follow outline, beginning with the setup and progressing through conflict, challenge, and climax before the resolution scene. After the scene is complete, music can be added to perfectly compliment the action.
To download the free app to your iPad touch the following link: Toontastic App
The stories below were created by kids in a library program over winter break, and are fantastic examples of what a finished product looks like.
If you were one of our movie-makers, don't forget to count this program as one of your activities for the Winter Library Club. Great work!
The videos below were made in the library's animated movie making program. Kids had the opportunity to select their cast, scenery, and write their own script. All of this was possible thanks to a pretty cool website called Xtranormal. To try Xtranormal at home, create an account on their website.
Enjoy the videos!
Light painting is a neat way to create unique photographs. No editing is needed, just some crafty kids with the right tools. Before class, Aly and I adjusted the camera setting so the shutter would stay open for 15 seconds. Normally, the shutter opens and closes quickly, but with the adjusted setting, artists had enough time to draw a picture or create an effect. All we needed was a camera with manual settings, flashlights, and a dark room.
For more on light painting, visit The Tinkering Studio Blog, presented by The Exploratorium, in San Francisco.
Click on the photos to see the full catalog of pictures.
Remember, this takes practice. The first few times may be challenging, but after a while, you realize how much you can get done in just 15 seconds. Try it out at home and send us copies of your light paintings!
The December Tech Open Lab was one of the best, yet! Imagination was the key ingredient in this program. Older kids experimented with LEGO WeDo, Photobooth, and GarageBand, while future tech all-stars had fun playing with Sifteo cubes and specially selected storytime apps for the iPad. Make sure to join us for our next Tech Open Lab on February 12.
Scratch is a great tool to introduce kids to computer programming. Computer programming may seem like a tough topic, but the software makes it easy to learn. Simply drag and drop pieces of code into a script and voila, you have a cool new program! Scratch can be used to make a variety of different projects including animation, art, even a game. For inspiration, check out the awesome projects that were made in class, or visit the Scratch website to learn more.
Stop-motion is a fun and easy way to get started in film-making. You don't need expensive equipment and you don't have to be a technical wizard, although the results might make you look like one. All you need is:
- Digital camera
- Standard editing software (Mac: iMovie - PC: Windows Live Movie Maker)
For a step-by-step guide on how to use Windows Live Movie Maker to create an animation, click here.
For instructions on how to use iMovie to make an animation, click here.
Have fun and be sure to share your projects with the library! We love watching your masterpieces!