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Crafty Students Show Off New Tech Skills At Free Library Of Philadelphia

Brandon Klevence and his students prepare their copper and magnetic maze for visitors. (Credit: Mike Dougherty)

Brandon Klevence and his students prepare their copper and magnetic maze for visitors. (Credit: Mike Dougherty)

Mike Dougherty Mike Dougherty
Mike is a general assignment reporter and editor for KYW Newsradio...
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By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After a summer of fun at Free Library Hot Spots, children in Philadelphia got the chance Saturday to show off new tech skills they learned during the library’s so-called “Maker Movement.”

This is the Maker Celebration.

“Imagine a giant show and tell,” says K-Fai Steele, a digital resource specialist at the Free Library of Philadelphia, “where people who have made stuff, either with arts and crafts combined with technology or science can come together and show off what they do in a celebratory way.”

Steele says students partnered with Maker mentors to learn a variety of new skills.

“Just seeing them launch off from that has been really rewarding,” she says.

Some made video games using cardboard, rubber bands and masking tape. Others, with the help of mentor Brandon Klevence, made their own LED light display.

“The craziest thing is having a 3 or 4-year-old play with Play-Doh and light it up,” says Brandon Klevence, a 22-year-old University of the Arts student, “and not see him for like two weeks, and then he’ll come back and he’s able to do it without me doing any sort of guidance.”

Klevence and his students created a copper and magnetic maze that is fully integrated into a digital scoreboard. He says watching the kids pick up concepts so quickly makes him feel great.

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