Contact: Marika Staloch, Marika.firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Partners: Multiple (listed in ‘Outcomes’)
Createch Studio is a creative tinkering space for teens. The Studio is located at Arlington Hills Community Center, a site where Parks and Recreation (Parks) and Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL) have joined in a joint facility. Createch Studio provides opportunities for teens to hang out, mess around, and geek out with current and emerging technology. Mentors in the space encourage exploration, spark passion, and connect teens to resources needed to learn and pursue their interests. The teens, mentors, neighborhood, and community partners all bring personality to the space.
The Createch Studio is a hub to three other Createch sites in Parks and SPPL spaces, and a fifth Createch site will open in fall of 2014 in another Library/Parks collaborative building. The Createch Studio houses equipment such as sewing machines, photo printers, video cameras, laptop labs (with Adobe Creative Suite and CAD), electronic drawing pads, and more, which are available during Createch sessions, and can be sent to SPPL or Parks locations to be used with any audience. Planning the Createch Studio has inspired maker activities throughout the Library. SPPL has offered pop-up events with ‘make and take’ projects constructed from inexpensive components, such as light-up t-shirts or paper circuits, to easily give people of all ages experience using new technologies. Our youth-serving teams have started offering more ‘maker’ activities, including a series of Maker Break parties during Spring Break. The largest pop-up event is our annual Maker Fest, which celebrates the maker movement and connects the library with local makers of all varieties.
Createch has changed teen programming in our libraries. Creating a persistent space for teens has helped us develop relationships, be reliable for teens, and create programs with better attendance. Programs are engaging, interest-based, and hands-on. We provide our community with access to a variety of new technologies, and the mentors needed to encourage exploration. Createch has strengthened SPPL’s partnerships. While SPPL provide space, staff, and administrative assistance, our partners help with this, and bring programming expertise. Key partners include:
- Saint Paul Parks and Recreation provides space, staff, and administrative assistance. They pay for the Teen Tech Crew teens through the City’s youth jobs program. The Teen Tech Crew lead technology and engineering classes one week each month during the school year, and more during the summer months.
- Science Museum of Minnesota: Museum staff train SPPL and Parks staff, including the Teen Tech Crew. Museum staff designed adult maker programs hosted at SPPL, and trained our staff on pop-up maker activities.
- Saint Paul Neighborhood Network leads programming based on video production. Workshops include stop motion animation, video poetry, and making music videos.
- University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, provided a professional development series, ‘Engineering Design plus the Maker Movement,’ for our staff and partners. We are hoping to be a space for their engineering students to teach workshops.
Createch is helping us forge stronger partnerships with Saint Paul Public Schools, especially Johnson High School Fab Lab, the University of Minnesota LT Media Lab, and St. Catherine University.