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Library NExT

Library NExT (Network of Education x Training) is a series of workshops for middle and high school students on topics including robotics, circuits and 3D modeling. Initially started as a pilot program at six San Diego libraries in 2017, it expanded to 10 locations in 2018 with plans to be offered at more City of San Diego library locations. This San Diego Public Library program is a collaboration with UC San Diego Extension and Sally Ride Science.

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Upcoming Programs | February

Messy Science
February 24, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Skyline Hills Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
Library NExT’s Messy Science class offers hands-on learning activities, including the opportunity to design structures and test their resiliency. Students explore concepts such as tsunamis, landslides, permafrost, glaciers, and sea level rise. Learn why and how things ooze, what makes an explosion and the hidden reason why some things can spin and others cannot. Come prepared to make a mess.
 
Tiny House Architecture
February 24, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
This Library NExT course uses concepts of the Tiny House movement to teach students about architecture, social responsibility, and the importance of community. Tiny houses, which typically use just 15 percent of the square footage of modern homes, are designed for people who wish to simplify their lives while still maintaining functionality of their home. During this class, students will learn the fundamentals of tiny house construction by designing and building a tiny house out of clay and found materials.
 
Exploring Kelp Forest Ecosystems
February 24, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Linda Vista Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
In this Library NExT workshop students learn about the incredible algae in our ecosystem, including an interactive “creature features” lesson highlighting invertebrates, fish, and sharks. Live underwater kelp forests just off our San Diego shores provide vertical habitats for marine life. In addition to this practical marine biology lesson, students will create an art project using watercolor pencils.
 
Exploring the Science of Harry Potter
February 24, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. |Rancho Penasquitos Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
Science is integrated in each of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, which is just one of the reasons the magic is so real. In this class we explore the science and magic of the world of Harry Potter through video clips, presentations, discussions, and group play-acting. Topics include genetics and trait prediction (parseltongue, giants, squibs), acid/base chemistry (Marauder’s Map), fantastic beasts and herbology.

Upcoming Programs | March

Exploring Kelp Forest Ecosystems
March 3, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
In this Library NExT workshop students learn about the incredible algae in our ecosystem, including an interactive “creature features” lesson highlighting invertebrates, fish, and sharks. Live underwater kelp forests just off our San Diego shores provide vertical habitats for marine life. In addition to this practical marine biology lesson, students will create an art project using watercolor pencils.
 
Messy Science
March 3, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Linda Vista Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
Library NExT’s Messy Science class offers hands-on learning activities, including the opportunity to design structures and test their resiliency. Students explore concepts such as tsunamis, landslides, permafrost, glaciers, and sea level rise. Learn why and how things ooze, what makes an explosion and the hidden reason why some things can spin and others cannot. Come prepared to make a mess.
 
Scratch: Animation and Video Game Design
March 4, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Central Library | Register Here
Level: High School (9th - 12th Grade) and Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
During this Library NExT game design course, students will learn how to make zombies walk and magic carpets fly. This course teaches animation basics as well as character and storyboard design. Each participant creates their own video game design project using MIT’s online programming platform, Scratch, from the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is an easy to use interface that incorporates fundamental logical concepts of computer programming, serving as a launch into all aspects of game design. No prior computer coding experience required.
 
Kitchen Chemistry: Glorious Chocolate
March 10, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
The many wonders of chocolate, from the biochemical effects on humans to how and why it changes state, are probed in this Library NExT course. We look at the history of the cocoa tree, including how it is processed and which chemicals contribute to the unique chocolate taste. Budding bakers will run an edible experiment and make chocolate cookies.
 
For safety reasons no open flame will be used in this class. Any necessary cooking is accomplished using a small toaster oven, a single hot plate, or a microwave. All participants must abide by the safety rules. No prior experience required.
 
Animation & Video Game Design Using Scratch
March 10, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. | Mira Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
During this Library NExT game design course, students will learn how to make zombies walk and magic carpets fly. This course teaches animation basics as well as character and storyboard design. Each participant creates their own video game design project using MIT’s online programming platform, Scratch, from the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is an easy to use interface that incorporates fundamental logical concepts of computer programming, serving as a launch into all aspects of game design. No prior computer coding experience required.
 
Messy Science
March 10, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Linda Vista Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
Library NExT’s Messy Science class offers hands-on learning activities, including the opportunity to design structures and test their resiliency. Students explore concepts such as tsunamis, landslides, permafrost, glaciers, and sea level rise. Learn why and how things ooze, what makes an explosion and the hidden reason why some things can spin and others cannot. Come prepared to make a mess.
 
Introduction to Inventor and AutoCAD
March 11, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. | Central Library | Register Here
Level: High School (9th -12th Grade)
 
This Library NExT introductory course teaches students how to create digital 3D objects using Inventor and AutoCAD software programs. This course features basic programing including how to design, construct, and assemble different 3D parts to create a digital car. The Inventor software program used in this course is a common tool used in multiple engineering fields: Aerospace Engineering, Bioengineering, Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. No prior experience with Inventor or AutoCAD is required.
 
Marine Mammals
March 17, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Skyline Hills Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
This Library NExT course introduces students to the many marine mammals native to San Diego, including seals, sea lions, dolphins and great whales. This class covers how researchers identify and study these animals. After their marine biology lessons, students can sculpt their favorite animal out of clay for a fridge magnet memory to help promote future marine biologists.
 
Wearable Electronics
March 17, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Mira Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
In this Library NExT course, students will make their own simple soft circuits using foam sheets, felt sheets, LEDs, resistors, coin batteries and copper tape. Students will learn the basics of series circuits and build a themed end-product to take home (i.e., flashlight gloves, Valentine’s day heart shaped bow or pin with red/pink lights, St. Patrick’s Day green clover or Halloween orange pumpkin or black cat).
 
Wearable Electronics - Flashlight Gloves
March 24, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
In this Library NExT course, students will make their own simple soft circuits using foam sheets, felt sheets, LEDs, resistors, coin batteries and copper tape. Students will learn the basics of series circuits and build a set of flashlight gloves to take home.
 
Exploring Kelp Forest Ecosystems
March 24, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Rancho Penasquitos Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
In this Library NExT workshop students learn about the incredible algae in our ecosystem, including an interactive “creature features” lesson highlighting invertebrates, fish, and sharks. Live underwater kelp forests just off our San Diego shores provide vertical habitats for marine life. In addition to this practical marine biology lesson, students will create an art project using watercolor pencils.
 
Tiny Houses: Mini-Architecture
March 24, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Central Library | Register Here
Level: High School (9th -12th Grade)
 
This Library NExT course uses concepts of the Tiny House movement to teach students about architecture, social responsibility and the importance of community. Tiny houses, which typically use just 15 percent of the square footage of modern homes, are designed for people who wish to simplify their lives while still maintaining functionality of their home. During this class, students will learn the fundamentals of tiny house construction by designing and building a tiny house out of clay and found materials.
 
Robotics: Lego Mindstorm
March 26, 27, 28 & 29 (four classes), 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Mira Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
Participants will learn the core concepts of robotics and use basic flowchart programming to create autonomous robots, featuring multiple sensors, with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kit. Students will work in groups to compete in science instrument deployment competitions and learn how to teach their robot to dance. Prior experience with robotics and programming is not required.

  • Photo of student working in a computer lab.
  • Photo of two students handling purple slime.
  • Photo of student's hand covered in red and orange pigments.
  • Photo of student working in a computer lab.
  • Photo of students coding in a computer lab.
  • Photo of two students working on a project in a classroom.

Recently Offered

Python
This course will introduce students to computer programming via the Python programming language. Each class will consist of a brief lecture, followed by a self-guided demo. The course will cover basic topics in programming, such as arithmetic and Boolean expressions, string manipulation, conditional statements, for and while loops, I/O, and abstract functions. Attention will be paid to helping students develop good programming habits and code documentation. Students will be evaluated with weekly problem sets and a final project.
 
Independent Film Making
Books and videos can transport us into any world we want! Join us to explore the basics of video production (composition, filming and editing) and storytelling in a 3-sessions amateur filmmaking series. Collaborate with friends to make a video about you and your neighborhood using equipment that's at your fingertips – phones and tablets!
 
Music and Your Brain
In this Library NExT program, students explore how music affects the brain and body in physical, cognitive, and emotional ways. Learn how every person has unique connections with music yet there are many shared reacts and interactions to music. Together we explore how music relates to cultural identity, history, math and science. This class is built around musical activities and group work as students discover new ways to think musically.
 
Introduction to Circuits using Makey-Makey 
Do electronics and bananas go together? Absolutely! Learn how to create fun circuits using Makey-Makey circuit boards that can be expanded and accentuated with everyday items like a banana, tin foil or a bouncy ball. Science and art will collide as the technology of circuits is used to create art in the form of music, paintings and photographs.
 
Virtual Reality with Google Cardboard
Join the Virtual Reality technology movement that simulates experiences (like going on a roller coaster) using Google Cardboard (a Virtual Reality viewer). Work in groups to create your own virtual reality interactive tools and games and learn basic concepts of stereoscopy. Gain experience in C+ programming, 3D modeling and learn how to use the popular UNITY game engine. No prior experience with computer programming or 3D modeling is required.
 
Make Your Own Inflatables
Explore the fascinating world of bubbles! Discover the intersection of engineering, architecture, art and nature through amazing experiments with bubbles and inflatables. As inventors and designers we will be building our own unique constructions through the iterative design-to-build process and creating giant inflatables from ordinary plastic bags! No experience required.
 
Introduction to Robotics with LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3
Learn basic concepts of robotics and then build robots using the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 kit while using basic flowchart programming to create autonomous robots. Working in groups, compete in science instrument deployment competitions using multiple sensors on the robots. No prior experience with robotics or programming is required.
 
Introduction to Video game Programming with Unity
What better way to learn introductory concepts of computer science than within a video game environment powered by the popular Unity game engine as a visualization tool! Using the C# scripting language, learn code structure and syntax, conditional statements, loops, functions, data structures and write and run simple scripts. After learning how to handle user input, object collision and interface design, create your own simple video game!
 
Messy Science - Atmosphere
In this workshop format class we explore the beauty, mysteries and facts about our planet earth. Using tools and materials from our modern world we will re-enact some of the physics, chemistry, and biology that make earth unique in the Known Space. Hands-on activities will be punctuated with sounds of boom, crash, zip and slime! The class is configurable to different lessons each focusing on an aspect of that include topics of glaciers, volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, permafrost, sea level rise and tsunamis. During these workshops students will design things, test things, throw things, and stomp on things. Using our newfound knowledge of our earth system we will use our imaginations to make our planet a more fun place.

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