Hamilton City Libraries’ reputation for engaging young people in digital technologies has earnt the service a spot at this year’s Fieldays.
The Libraries team was invited to bring its mobile makerspace programme, The LAB, to be part of the Fieldays Careers and Education Hub.
The LAB is designed to encourage young minds to problem solve, think creatively, and develop innovative ideas while doing a variety of DIY and technology-based activities.
The programme rotates around Hamilton City Libraries’ six branches as well as four community centres: Western, Fairfield, Enderley, and Glenview.
The exhibit at Fieldays was initiated by Alan Reilly, who leads the Careers and Education Hub.
“The New Zealand National Fieldays Society has three pillars and one of them is education,” he says. “The Society is trying to get students to understand there are lots of opportunities and lots of problems to solve in the primary industries.
“I was looking for ways we could engage students with hands-on activities [in the Careers and Education Hub]. I’d heard about the makerspace and the more I looked into it, the more I thought the links between robotics, interactivity and agriculture seem to be where the industry is headed.”
Hamilton City Libraries’ Children and Teens Librarian Aaron Martin says The LAB is a key tool for teaching digital literacy.
“Part of The LAB is using LEGO Mindstorm technology to expose students to robotics,” says Mr Martin. “The LAB is often a young person’s first experience of using some of the technology we provide, so it is an important service we offer the community to start their journey of digital learning.”
Fieldays 2019 runs until Saturday 15 June at Mystery Creek.
Click here for more information about when The LAB is visiting your local library or community centre.
Image: Stevie-Raye, left, and Alex Ball with Hamilton City Libraries Children and Teens Librarian Su Bradburn at Fieldays.