Project Based Learning and a Pop Up Library

(Whoops, I know I said I’d see you Wednesday but, I ran out of time to edit the photos I was going to show you of the library so I’m still working on those for tomorrow. Plus, I remembered I was doing something way more fun and share worthy today then anything I could have talked about on Wednesday so, slight change in posting plans made.) Anyway, on with the show….

So what exciting thing was on schedule for today? So glad you asked. Earlier this week I was asked to sit on a panel for a project presentation our DDP Engineering students have been working on for the last several weeks. The local town library decided they wanted a traveling book display/library they could take around to festivals and community events (how cool an idea is that by the way? It’s like a pop up version of little free libraries!). The board originally approached the school about having our shop classes construct the project when someone suggested we get the engineering classes involved with the actual design stage. The students were broken up into groups and given criteria and guidelines that needed to be meet such as, maximum height/length/width, need for mobility/sturdy wheels for transporting across parking lots, fields etc, ability to display books cover and/or spine out, accessibility and appeal to children and adults, and an eye-catching design.

After coming up with a design the students also had to make a model of their design and a slide show presentation to present to the members of the board, the head public librarian, and other local librarians, including myself. It was a real treat to be invited and all the students did a great job. Most were presenting a real project to an audience of grownups for the first time ever and I think they handled it much better than I would have been able to do at that age.

The first group presented a mini red barn prototype. The barn doors would swing open to reveal interior shelves as well as door shelves. It also had a hinged door in the back that could function as extra book storage or as a drop book while on location.

The second group presented a mini book delivery truck/bus. The engine compartment would function as book storage/a drop box and the side would open up to reveal shelving for the books. It didn’t have as much of a visual wow factor for me as the barn idea (I’m old enough to remember actual book mobiles so the idea didn’t feel as fresh and fun) but I loved how they incorporated the necessary elements into their design (wheels on a vehicle for example make sense, wheels on a barn less so).

The third group also presented a red barn with a few differences from the first one we saw. This one’s doors slide out to the sides, rather than hinging open, on both sides. It also had a silo attached that was originally for aesthetics only but, there was talk during the Q&A portion of the presentation of making it into storage or display space.

The fourth and final group of the day presented a Greek temple design. The columns would each act as spinning book carousels with storage options in the base and roof space.

All the designs were well thought out and well presented. I’m so proud of the students and the amazing work they did. I’m glad I don’t have to make the final decision on what design to go with!

See you tomorrow for a little tour of the library.

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