STEAM Lab Online

STEAM Lab Online

Library after school tutors are uploading STEAM challenges to put kids to the test at home!
STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. Activities are generally project and inquiry based, with a focus on interdisciplinary learning and real life applications.

Visit our page on after school activities and check the calendar for:

Holiday Cookie Cutters: Google Drawing and 3D Printers - November / December 2020

It’s nearly that time of the year again! The holidays are fast approaching and whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or are simply looking forward to summer, there is a cookie cutter waiting to be designed by you.

You will need access to Google Drawings through your home or school Google Account. You will also need access to a 3D Printer at school or at home. No 3D printer? No Problem! Did you know the Christchurch City Libraries offer a 3D printing service: https://my.christchurchcitylibraries.com/maker-space/

To Design Your Cookie Cutter:

First in your internet browser go to Google Drawings and log-in: http://drawings.google.com/

Step 1:

Using shapes in Google Drawings, design a simple drawing that you would like to use for your cookie cutter. Remember, when your design is cookiefied, it will only display the outline of your shape so you can use it as a cookie cutter. Below I have designed a Christmas tree using triangles and a rectangle.

Step 2: 

Fill in your shapes with your desired colours, this will give you an idea of how the shape of your cookie will come out after you use your cookie cutter.

Step 3:

Download your file as a PNG file.

Step 4: 

Email us your design in PNG format at SteamLabOnline@ccc.govt.nz

We will then cookify your design and email you back an STL file that is ready to be 3D printed. You can either print your design at home, school, or use our 3D Printing Services.

Step 5:

Get Baking! See below for an easy cookie recipe.

Easy Holiday Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups standard white flour
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter or spread
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg (size 6)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  1. In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients together until well blended by hand or with a hand-mixer (butter, egg, vanilla extract).
  2. Add in dry ingredients and mix after adding each ingredient until well blended (sugar, salt, baking powder, standard white flour).
  3. Take cookie dough out of the bowl and flatten it lightly with your hand, place back in the bowl, cover and put it in your fridge for one hour.
  4. After one hour, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  5. Remove cookie dough from the fridge and roll out with a rolling pin and cut your cookies using your cookie cutters.
  6. Place on a lined baking sheet, sprinkle cookies with a bit of sugar and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool and then enjoy!

Your Ōtautahi Christchurch Story - September / October 2020

This challenge is to contribute your own stories and images to the library’s Discovery Wall!

You will need:

  • a device capable of taking photos (such as an IPad, android tablet, or phone)
  • an internet connection for uploading images to the Discovery Wall

Follow along with Beaulah to learn how to create your own Ōtautahi Christchurch story and contribute your images to the library’s Discovery Wall:

We’d love to see the images you create. You can email us a link to them at SteamLabOnline@ccc.govt.nz

Christchurch Photo Hunt Interview

What is the Photo Hunt? How can you contribute to helping us tell a diverse and inclusive story of Christchurch? In this video, Beaulah takes you behind the scenes to meet Sarah Tester and Sarah Snelling, from our Digital Content and Serials Team, who work to capture the stories of Christchurch for our Digital Heritage Collection.

1: Introduction

2: Beginning your story

 

3: Planning your contribution

 

4: How to take great photos

 

5: Choosing the best photos

 

6: Uploading your images

 

 

Christchurch Photo Hunt 2020 Share your photos by Sun 8 Nov

This year's Photo Hunt runs from Friday 18 September to Sunday 8 November. Submit your images of Christchurch online or at the library.

Previous Challenges

Stop Motion Animation

This month’s challenge is to create your very own stop motion video at home!

You will need:

  • a device (such as an IPad, android tablet, phone, chromebook)
  • Stop-motion software (ie: Stop Motion Studio)
  • a stand for your device (you can use a tripod, cookbook stand, or some books to hold your device up)
  • Props (such as play dough, clay, Lego etc)

Follow along with the experts from Kiri and Lou to learn how to create your very own stop-motion video.
Check out Kiri and Lou’s website!

We’d love to see the videos you create. You can email us a link to them at SteamLabOnline@ccc.govt.nz

Make an animated GIF with Piskel

This week’s challenge mixes pixel art with animation. You will learn how to make an animated GIF using a website called Piskel. Watch the video and give it a go yourself.

The website you will need for this challenge is piskelapp.com

We’d love to see what you come up with, so if you have GIFs that you’d like to share, please email them to us so that we can take a look at your amazing creations.

If you’re a Minecraft fan who enjoys pixel art and you want a more hands on crafting challenge, then check out this awesome book Craft projects for Minecraft and Pixel Art Fans. We have several copies available to borrow in the library.

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Have fun!

Learn how to use Tinkercad Circuits

Ever wanted to learn the world of electronics or Arduino but didn’t know where to start? Or afraid you might electrocute yourself? Or burn the house down? Never fear, Tinkercad Circuits is here! Tinkercad Circuits is a way to create and test out circuits digitally. You can wire up a simple light bulb:

Learn how to use a breadboard:

Or wire up and code an Arduino to make something like a traffic light:

Get started by joining and logging in at https://www.tinkercad.com/learn/circuits

A great lesson to start with is the “Start Simulating” circuit:

We’d be amped to see what you create with Tinkercad Circuits! Email us a photo or link to your circuit.

Learn how to program a BBC Micro:Bit

The BBC Micro:Bit is a programmable microprocessor, essentially a small computer similar to what you would find inside your domestic appliances like fridges, cookers, and washing machines. In this challenge you will learn how to program a microbit to do some simple tasks and then hopefully come up with some ideas of your own. You don't need a microbit to do this challenge, just an internet connection and a web browser, but when you've finished you can save your program and when STEAM Club is up and running in the library again you can run your program on one of our microbits. Good luck, and have fun!

The website you will need for this challenge is https://makecode.microbit.org/

This is just a simple introduction to what the microbit can do, but if you'd like to delve deeper, the library has several excellent books that you could take a look at for ideas to take your microbit programming to the next level.

We’d love to see what you come up with, so please email your Microbit programs to us so that we can run them on one of our Microbits.

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Learn coding with Minecraft!

Choose your adventure and have fun while learning how to code with the Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorials. You can earn a certificate to show proof of your learning when you have completed a challenge. Select your challenge, watch a short video and then work your way to the end for your reward!

Books and eBooks

Learn how to make a 3D printable emoji using Tinkercad

Follow along with this video to make your first emoji smiley face. You will learn the basics of 3D modelling as you go. You can then use your creativity to create your own emojis, in your own style. After you have finished modelling in Tinkercad, you can send us the file to be 3D printed at the library!

1: Make a 3D emoji with Tinkercad

2: How to 3D print your model

Share your challenge story

We would love to hear your challenge stories and see some of the work you have been doing. If you would like to share your work with our tutors this week or if you have a question for the team, send them an email.

Further information for parents

Charges apply for 3D printing of $0.20 per gram of filament – this is approximately $1.20 per emoji. Due to technical limitations, a two colour layered design (as demonstrated) is the most effective. Colour choice may be limited.

STEAM Resources in our collection

Introduction to Coding with Scratch Challenges

1: Introduction to Scratch – Let’s Get Started

2: Introduction to Scratch – Say Something

3: Introduction to Scratch – Let’s Move

4: Introduction to Scratch – Draw

5: Introduction to Scratch – Sound

6: Introduction to Scratch – Animation

7: Introduction to Scratch – Background

Ready for more of a challenge? Check out these tutorials and activity guides on the Scratch website:

Share your challenge story

We would love to hear your challenge stories and see some of the work you have been doing. If you would like to share your work with our tutors this week or if you have a question for the team, send them an email.

Photography Challenge - Learn how to edit your photos using Pixlr X

Now that you have some great photos to work with, Beaulah will show you some fun ways to edit your images in the free online photo-editing software Pixlr X. Watch these videos from our tutor, Beaulah, to learn more and join our Library STEAM challenge.

See more photography videos in our Photography Challenge playlist.

Share your challenge story

We would love to hear your challenge stories and see some of the work you have been doing. If you would like to share your work with our tutors this week or if you have a question for the team, send them an email.

1: Introduction to Pixlr X - Interface

2: Introduction to Pixlr X - Turn your image black and white

3: Introduction to Pixlr X - Create a Profile Picture

4: Introduction to Pixlr X - Create a Banner and Add Text

Photography Challenge - Take photographs of your favourite toy

Munny the Bunny wants to create his own YouTube Channel. He'll need some good photos to use for his profile, header and to advertise his channel on other social media. What has your favourite toy been up to? Can you think of a reason they might want a photo shoot?
Watch this video from our tutor, Beaulah, to learn more and join our first Library STEAM challenge.

See more photography videos in our Photography Challenge playlist.

Share your challenge story

We would love to hear your challenge stories and see some of the work you have been doing. If you would like to share your work with our tutors this week or if you have a question for the team, send them an email.

Photography courses on Lynda.com

Find STEAM resources in our collection

Books and eBooks

eResources

Lynda.com

NCEA subjects

Blog posts and lists

Learn computer programming from home, with your children

It's the perfect time for parents and children to start learning coding together, and Rob has gathered books and resources to help.

Creative software

Recommended books and eBooks for users of the creative software in the computer lab on Auahatanga | Creativity Level 4 of Tūranga

Maths resources for families stuck at home

Here is a non-exhaustive list of some online places where you can find help with maths education, which you can access from home.

Get STEAMed

Here are some activities, challenges, and links to other interesting STEAM sites that you can look at while waiting for your next weekly challenge.

Lockdown learning for kids

Explore online encyclopedias and eResources aimed at kids for homework and learning.
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