Adventures at the Arizona SciTech Festival: Hacking and Crafting!

Adventures at the Arizona SciTech Festival: Hacking and Crafting!

The Arizona SciTech Festival is in full swing, which means that for the next two months, we’re in for over 500 science related events throughout the state of Arizona! Events during the SciTech Festival include science experiments and activity days, robots and rockets, lecture series, open houses at ASU and various state parks, and all sorts of science throughout the Valley!

We decided to kick off our SciTech adventures at one of our favorite places in Phoenix, the Burton Barr branch of the Phoenix Public Library! We showed up on Wednesday to check out their Paper Engineering workshops.


We had seen these giant cardboard Minecraft statues at the library before, and we just had to take a look at the people who were making them! Craig, the host of the Paper Engineering program had made these in his spare time. After seeing them in the MACH 1 floor, kids were inspired to create their own! These two boys, Lucas and Isaac, had recreated their own Minecraft skins out of cardboard, and were now working on outfitting themselves with chest plates and swords.

The Paper Engineering programs has been responsible for all sorts of amazing paper crafts. They’ve done paper sculptures, origami, and beautiful 3D landscapes cut into old recycled books! They’ve built geodesic domes that the kids have been able to turn into forts! Basically, anything that the kids want to create is a possibility at Burton Barr!

Paper Engineering takes place every Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm. Kids can work on their own projects, or they can participate in a guided workshop. They can even leave their projects behind to work on the following week! Kat loved this so much, we’ve decided to include it in our weekly science activities!

This makes the second library workshop to make our weekly rounds. The first one is one we greatly look forward to every week. Of course, it’s…

Hacker Haven!

Hacker Haven is another stop on the Arizona SciTech Festival’s calendar, and with good reason! With robotics, circuit building, programming, 3D printing, art with LED circuitry, and engineering, Hacker Haven is filled to the brim with STEM activities for your budding scientist to explore!

Kids can use snap circuit kits (ranging from beginning to advanced) to learn about how electricity works and circuits are created. They can use these skills to make music with Play-doh, or even make their own working controllers for their favorite video games!

They can build solar powered robots, or learn programming skills and use them to fly drones throughout the library! They can look up designs on Thingiverse, and 3D print them on one of the library’s two makerbot 3D printers! As the library builds their maker space, kids are going to be able to build some serious DIY skills. They’re already soldering components together. Soon, they’ll have the power tools available to create anything their hearts desire!

The Hacker Haven program runs every Tuesday, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. It’s free and it’s all ages, so bring the whole family down and MAKE something!

The Burton Barr branch of the Phoenix Public Library is a hub for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, in the Valley. Here are some of the other amazing programs they have to offer! They’re all free, check the calendar here for dates, times, and other details. (Note: The calendar shows Paper Engineering on Thursday. The correct day/time is Wednesday 4:00-5:30pm)

Video Editing Classes
Video Game Design
Collaborative Minecraft Days
Photoshop For Kids & Teens
Robotics and Electronics

The library also offers science and craft clubs, as well as some really great programming for teens, kids, and moms and tots! Here is the event calendar for programs at all branches of the Phoenix Public library. Wherever you are in the Phoenix metro area, see what your library has to offer you!



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