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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 | April

Mysteries of the Human Genome
April 21, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 9th Grade)
 
Why are your eyes brown and mine green? Why is your hair so curly? What does your blood type mean? Will your brother go bald? In this class, we learn about the basics of DNA, the instruction manual for all cells, and how DNA impacts the way traits are passed from one generation to the next. We will create mixed-media art pieces to showcase important cell cycles, and we will use fun interactive models to learn about inheritance and variance. Students will play Sherlock Holmes to decode a series of genetic mysteries and will come up with their own gripping short stories showing how murders can be solved using biological techniques. No prior experience is necessary.
 
Slimy Sea Creatures
April 21, 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Logan Heights Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Slimy ocean animals like octopus, sea stars, sand dollars and moon snails are the focus of this Library NExT class. Students discover the secret of how octopus change color and how oysters make pearls. This class offers a chance to research sea life like a marine biologist and to create like an artist using different types of materials found in nature.
 
Rocket Science
April 21, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Central Library | Register Here
Level: Middle & High School (6th -12th Grade)
 
We will learn the physics behind rockets and current rocket design, culminating in an testable rocket model design and launch. This class provides an introduction to current space exploration and the engineering process behind a successful rocket design, launch, and mission. Students will test their ideas about the physics of rockets using a water bottle rocket launch as they increase their understanding of Newton’s Laws of Motion, mathematical problem solving, innovative thinking, and the aesthetics of rocket design.
 
Physics of Fidget Spinners
April 21, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Mira Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
In this Library NExT workshop fidget spinners aren’t a distraction they’re a tangible lesson in the laws of physics. Students explore concepts of energy conservation, how motion transfers heat, and the law of gravity and tension to gain an understanding why some fidget spinners spin longer and why some are louder than others. Students are welcome to bring their own fidget spinners, and we also provide spinners for in-class use only.
 
Beginner's SketchUp: Designing 3D Graphics
April 28, 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Mission Valley Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Using SketchUp Make 3D Modeling, students will learn the basic tools which will enable them to draw using a familiar pencil and paper paradigm, in software context, also leading into creating 3 dimensional graphic models. As a class, you will follow along with the instructor, in becoming familiar with some skills needed to begin using SketchUp, such as, selecting a template, exploring the SketchUp interface, learning how to use SketchUp tools, viewing the Quick Reference Card, creating your first 3-dimensional model in SketchUp, saving and reopening a model, viewing a model, choosing a style, applying colors, photos, materials, and textures, and adding premade components and dynamic components. With the assistance of the instructor, we will carve out some time, after the instructional portion to dabble with SketchUp and get creative with your newly learned skills. If time permits, we may have each student share their creations with the class.
 
Android App Design
April 28, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. | Mira Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
This Library NExT class is a follow-the-leader, cutting edge, hands-on programming course that teaches the basics of Android app design. Participants work in groups to create an app background screen and add their own enhancements including pictures, drawing canvases, and buttons. Students will also create three simple Android apps: 1) Talk to text converter, 2) Ball Bounce App, and 3) Paint App. Students will use MIT App Inventor tool to learn the elements of Android application design and programming and test their apps using the MIT Companion App on an Android phone.
 
Each student will need to have an Email ID in order to access the App Inventor program. Students who do not have an email will be able to use a temporary email that we will set up for them during class. All equipment will be provided. No prior computer experience required.

Upcoming Programs | May

Slimy Sea Creatures
May 5, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. | Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 9th Grade)
 
Slimy ocean animals like octopus, sea stars, sand dollars and moon snails are the focus of this Library NExT class. Students discover the secret of how octopus change color and how oysters make pearls. This class offers a chance to research sea life like a marine biologist and to create like an artist using different types of materials found in nature.
 
Marine Mammals of California
May 5, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Mira Mesa 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.
 
Exploring the Science of Harry Potter
May 6, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Central Library | Register Here
Level: Middle & High School (6th -12th 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.
 
Squid Dissection
May 12, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. | Skyline Hills Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
This hands-on Library NExT class could get a little inky, when teams of students work together to dissect a squid. Each student will learn about the insides of a squid while developing their scientific research skills. Participants will apply these research skills to develop an overall understanding of other animals found in the ocean, leading to a deeper appreciation of the oceans, the organisms that live there and how to best care for these ecosystems.
 
Exploring the Science of Harry Potter
May 12, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Logan Heights 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.
 
Marine Mammals of California
May 12, 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Mission Valley 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, seal 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.
 
Pirate Science
May 12, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Linda Vista Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Ahoy! Life as a pirate is rough and rugged, and it requires scientific ingenuity. Join us to learn the fundamental suite of traditional nautical arts. Students will learn the elements of celestial navigation, sword fighting, weather prediction, knot tying, ship construction, and sailing. Students will gain an understanding of both the bravery and the ingenuity of traditional sailors as well as the beauty and elegance of modern physical theory.
 
Slime and Non-Newtonian Fluids
May 12, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Rancho Peñasquitos Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Slime is the new Slinky! In addition to slime's glorious slippery, gooby, malleable fun to play with features, in this class we learn about the many ways slime and other slippery icky fluids can be used to illustrate phenomena that currently exist in the natural world around us. From glaciers, to mudslides, to quaking bogs, explore the fluids that are neither liquid nor solid.  Investigate the interplay between viscosity, friction and gravity. If you like ooze, this class is for you!
 
Website Design
May 12, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Mira Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
Join us for an introductory class on Website Design, where students design a fully functional website that can be used as a business website (babysitting), a personal blog (fun things to do in San Diego), a charity website (help our community), and more. The websites will be designed using the on-line Wix interface, allowing students to build a website that attracts their target audience and uses different design elements. Students will learn basic website design concepts and work in teams to identify how color, font, and layout are used for specific purposes in industry, business and personal websites. Students will also create a website based on the topic of their choice for their final project. This course is designed for students entering the 6th through 8th grades who have little to no experience with website design. All equipment will be provided.
 
Squid Dissection
May 15, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | Central Library | Register Here
Level: Middle & High School (6th -12th Grade)
 
This hands-on Library NExT class could get a little inky, when teams of students work together to dissect a squid. Each student will learn about the insides of a squid while developing their scientific research skills. Participants will apply these research skills to develop an overall understanding of other animals found in the ocean, leading to a deeper appreciation of the oceans, the organisms that live there and how to best care for these ecosystems.
 
Pirate Science
May 19, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 9th Grade)
 
Ahoy! Life as a pirate is rough and rugged, and it requires scientific ingenuity. Join us to learn the fundamental suite of traditional nautical arts. Students will learn the elements of celestial navigation, sword fighting, weather prediction, knot tying, ship construction, and sailing. Students will gain an understanding of both the bravery and the ingenuity of traditional sailors as well as the beauty and elegance of modern physical theory.
 
Mysteries of the Human Genome
May 19, 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Logan Heights Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 9th Grade)
 
Why are your eyes brown and mine green? Why is your hair so curly? What does your blood type mean? Will your brother go bald? In this class, we learn about the basics of DNA, the instruction manual for all cells, and how DNA impacts the way traits are passed from one generation to the next. We will create mixed-media art pieces to showcase important cell cycles, and we will use fun interactive models to learn about inheritance and variance. Students will play Sherlock Holmes to decode a series of genetic mysteries and will come up with their own gripping short stories showing how murders can be solved using biological techniques. No prior experience is necessary.
 
Rocket Science
May 19, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Rancho Peñasquitos Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
We will learn the physics behind rockets and current rocket design, culminating in a testable rocket model design and launch. This class provides an introduction to current space exploration and the engineering process behind a successful rocket design, launch, and mission. Students will test their ideas about the physics of rockets using a water bottle rocket launch as they increase their understanding of Newton’s Laws of Motion, mathematical problem solving, innovative thinking, and the aesthetics of rocket design.
 
Exploring Kelp Forest Ecosystems
May 19, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Mira 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
May 22, 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. | Mission Valley Library | Registration opens 4/22, 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 AutoDesk Inventor: 3D Enginneering Design
May 26, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Central Library | Registration opens 4/26, Register Here
Level: Middle & High School (6th -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.
 
Rocket Science: Engineering Paper Airplanes!
May 26, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. | Linda Vista Library | Registration opens 4/26, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
We will learn the physics behind rockets and current rocket design, culminating in an testable rocket model design and launch. This class provides an introduction to current space exploration and the engineering process behind a successful rocket design, launch, and mission. Students will test their ideas about the physics of rockets using a water bottle rocket launch as they increase their understanding of Newton’s Laws of Motion, mathematical problem solving, innovative thinking, and the aesthetics of rocket design.

Upcoming Programs | June

Physics of Fidget Spinners
June 2, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library | Registration opens 5/2, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
In this Library NExT workshop, fidget spinners aren’t a distraction; they’re a tangible lesson in the laws of physics. Students explore concepts of energy conservation, the transfer of heat through motion, and the laws of gravity and tension to gain an understanding of why some fidget spinners spin longer and why some are louder than others. Students are welcome to bring their own fidget spinners. Spinners will also be provided for in-class use only.
 

Rocket Science
June 2, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Logan Heights Library | Registration opens 5/2, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
We will learn the physics behind rockets and current rocket design, culminating in a testable rocket model design and launch. This class provides an introduction to current space exploration and the engineering process behind a successful rocket design, launch, and mission. Students will test their ideas about the physics of rockets using a water bottle rocket launch as they increase their understanding of Newton’s Laws of Motion, mathematical problem solving, innovative thinking, and the aesthetics of rocket design.

Slimy Sea Creatures

June 2, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Linda Vista Library | Registration opens 5/2, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Slimy ocean animals like octopus, sea stars, sand dollars and moon snails are the focus of this Library NExT class. Students discover the secret of how octopus change color and how oysters make pearls. This class offers a chance to research sea life like a marine biologist and to create like an artist using different types of materials found in nature.
 
Mysteries of the Human Genome
June 2, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Mira Mesa Library | Registration opens 5/2, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
Why your eyes brown and mine are green? Why is your hair so curly? What does your blood type mean? Will your brother go bald? In this class, we learn about the basics of DNA, the instruction manual for all cells, and how DFNA impacts the way traits are passed from one generation to the next. We will create mixed-media art pieces to showcase important cell cycles, and we will use fun interactive models to learn about inheritance and variance. Students will play Sherlock Homes to decode a series of genetic mysteries and will come up with their own gripping short stories showing how murders can be solved using biological b=techniques. No prior experience is necessary.
 
Exploring the Science of Harry Potter
June 9, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Skyline Hills Library | Registration opens 5/9, 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.
 
Beginner's SketchUp: Designing 3D Graphics
June 9, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Central Library | Registration opens 5/9, Register Here
Level: High School (9th - 12th Grade)
 
Using SketchUp Make 3D Modeling, students will learn the basic tools which will enable them to draw using a familiar pencil and paper paradigm, in software context, also leading into creating 3 dimensional graphic models. As a class, you will follow along with the instructor, in becoming familiar with some skills needed to begin using SketchUp, such as, selecting a template, exploring the SketchUp interface, learning how to use SketchUp tools, viewing the Quick Reference Card, creating your first 3-dimensional model in SketchUp, saving and reopening a model, viewing a model, choosing a style, applying colors, photos, materials, and textures, and adding premade components and dynamic components. With the assistance of the instructor, we will carve out some time, after the instructional portion to dabble with SketchUp and get creative with your newly learned skills. If time permits, we may have each student share their creations with the class.
 
Fire and Ice
June 9, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Linda Vista Library | Registration opens 5/9, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Together we learn how volcanoes erupt, how icebergs form from when huge-chunks of ice break off from glaciers. One of the largest icebergs known was bigger than the whole island of Jamaica! Playing silly games we also learn other wacky facts -- did you know that no one knows who invented the fire hydrant because its patent was destroyed in a fire? We explore how fire and ice are a natural art painting pallet as we learn about the magnetic stripes on the seafloor, how ice sculptures are made and how back in the day earthquake records (seismograms) were recorded on smoked paper. Don’t sneeze on that or you will lose all your data! There will be no open flames in this class. No experience required.
 
Slimy Sea Creatures
June 9, 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Mission Valley Library | Registration opens 5/9, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Slimy ocean animals like octopus, sea stars, sand dollars and moon snails are the focus of this Library NExT class. Students discover the secret of how octopus change color and how oysters make pearls. This class offers a chance to research sea life like a marine biologist and to create like an artist using different types of materials found in nature.
 
Pirate Science
June 9, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Mira Mesa Library | Registration opens 5/9, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
Ahoy! Life as a pirate is rough and rugged and it requires scientific ingenuity. Join us to learn the fundamental suite of traditional nautical arts. Students will learn the elements of celestial navigation, sword fighting, weather prediction, knot typing, ship construction, and sailing. Students will gain an understanding of both the bravery and the ingenuity of traditional sailors as well as the beauty and elegance of modern physical theory.
 
Android App Design
June 16, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Rancho Peñasquitos Library | Registration opens 5/16, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
This Library NExT class is a follow-the-leader, cutting edge, hands-on programming course that teaches the basics of Android app design. Participants work in groups to create an app background screen and add their own enhancements including pictures, drawing canvases, and buttons. Students will also create three simple Android apps: 1) Talk to text converter, 2) Ball Bounce App, and 3) Paint App. Students will use MIT App Inventor tool to learn the elements of Android application design and programming and test their apps using the MIT Companion App on an Android phone.
 
Each student will need to have an Email ID in order to access the App Inventor program. Students who do not have an email will be able to use a temporary email that we will set up for them during class. All equipment will be provided. No prior computer experience 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.

Partners

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