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A South Jersey public and school library teamed up to create programs that encourage science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) as part of a makerspace competition.

Often supplied with 3D printers, software and hardware supplies, makerspaces are used by people to create and learn. The New Jersey State Library and LibraryLinkNJ awarded grants up to $7,500 to fund three mobile mini-makerspace kits for joint use by a partnering public library and public school library.

Collingswood Public Library partnered with the Collingswood Middle School to plan its project, “Coll Creators: Engaging the Community Program.” The initiative takes the makerspaces past the walls of the library with three programs.

First, students work with seniors at the Collingswood Manor Assisted Living Home for a paper bead-making program. The groups will discuss recycling while the school’s science, social studies and citizenship curriculums are expanded during this event. Another event on button-making will be hosted at the Ronald McDonald House.

The team’s third project will be held during Collingswood’s Book Festival. The public library and middle school will offer a “Stop-Motion Film Fest” where children can share their creativity with the community. The makerspaces will also be available for students to tinker with outside of these three programs.

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