Pop-up Makerspace


A California State Library LSTA grant program intended to facilitate easy duplication of successful projects

Informational Webinar

Photo of a clear plastic cup, upside-down, held above a desk by legs made of taped-on markers. An electronic device is attached to its inner wall. A small metal object is taped to its top and has a cork mounted on top of it.

Description: Through a series of programs held once a month at the library, teen participants complete a STEM-themed craft project that encourages creativity, independence, and self-guided learning. Through a series of craft programs, teens make greeting cards and holiday-themed houses using LEDs, create artwork using a robot built from household items, build flashlights using graphite, and make unique textile designs with sun-printing. Crafts are prepared ahead of the programs and teen volunteers are used to put together kits from the supplies. Instruction handouts are included for those wishing to work independently, but library staff and volunteers are on hand to assist with the projects and showcase the science behind each activity. In addition to craft sessions, a "Tech Petting Zoo" allow teens to experiment with circuits using LittleBits, use TinkerCAD to create 3D models and print them out with a 3D printer, and experience virtual reality with virtual reality headsets..

Purpose: Parents surveyed in Mission Viejo requested the city provide safe, healthy, educational activities for teens that enable them to practice life skills and harness their creativity. The Pop-up Makerspace program was designed to meet this unmet need in the community.

Target Audience: While the original grant targeted children age 13-17 Mission Viejo Library (MVL) encountered middle school students also interested in and participating in the program. With a little more hands-on help from library staff and volunteers, they were able to participate and learn as well.

Expected Outcomes: Participants will report increased interest in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Venue: MVL conducted programming in a room in the library. When they tried a different room off-sight, they had less attendance, as teens weren't as likely to leave the library to attend. This program is easily portable to community fairs or schools if space is available. Room for multiple participants to spread out their materials, surfaces upon which to work, and adequate lighting are necessary. Kits can be taken home as well.

Budget Considerations

  • Makerbot Replicator
  • Replicator supplies
  • Project supplies
  • Virtual reality headsets and batteries
  • Marketing supplies

See original application for more detail and in-kind staff estimates.