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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.

Library Next


Program Your Future

With the addition of “Program Your Future” to the program, Library NExT offers high school students in-depth knowledge and training for high demand career tracks or collegiate pursuits. Students receive digital badges when they complete each course. When all courses of a track are complete, students receive a certificate from the globally-recognized UC San Diego Extension, which can set them apart when applying for college or pursuing a career.

 

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December Programs

Being Sherlock: The Art of the Mystery and the Science of Forensics
December 15, 2018, 2:00 - 5:00 PM | Paradise Hills Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
If you like reading mysteries and are intrigued by crime investigation, then this class is for you! Explore the exciting world of forensics, including DNA evidence, fingerprints and handwriting analysis. Then learn how mystery writers incorporate this information into their books. No experience is required.
 
Tiny Houses
December 15, 2018, 1:00 - 4:00 PM | Linda Vista Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
The tiny-house movement is sweeping the U.S.! Get the inside scoop on how and why people are designing houses that take up about 15 percent of the space of a typical home. Learn about tiny-house architecture, social responsibility and community, and then design and build your own tiny house out of clay and found materials.

January Programs

Exploring the Science of Harry Potter
January 5, 2019 | 1:00 - 4:00 PM | 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. Explore the science and magic of the world of Harry Potter through video clips, presentations, discussions, activities and artwork. Topics include genetics and trait prediction (parseltongue, giants, squibs), acid/base chemistry (Marauder’s Map), fantastic beasts and herbology.
 
Craftronics
January 12, 2019 | 1:00 - 4:00 PM | Linda Vista Library | Register Here
Level: Elementary School (3rd – 5th Grade)
 
Explore the basics of circuits and electronic elements by using them in various craft projects. Build a moving origami swam, fashion wearable light-up LED bracelets and pins, construct moving robot bugs, erect a Play-Doh electronic sculpture, create paper circuit games and light effects cards. The workshop combines crafting and technology to bring your creations to life. Each student will take home a working electronic craft.
 
DIY Bio: Engineering Biology
January 12, 2019 | 2:30 – 5:30 PM | Mission Valley Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
How can we grow flowers that change color, produce microbes that make perfumes, or build organs from scratch? In this Library NExT workshop, students will explore synthetic biology, the intersection of biology and engineering. They will find out how DNA can be changed to alter the way biological systems work. Students will also learn about bioprinting – using 3D printing to make functional body parts – and try out this technology as they create models and art pieces to take home.
 
Stephen Hawking, Dark Holes and the Science of Space and Time
January 15, 2019 | 3:00 – 6:00 PM | Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
Learn about the life of the late Stephen Hawking, one of the most famous physicists of all time, who left an indelible scientific legacy. In this interactive class, we will examine Hawking’s life, disability, writings, imperfections and contributions to science. No prior knowledge is required.
 
Messy Science
January 15, 2019 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM | College-Rolando Library | Register Here
Levels: Elementary and Middle Schools (3rd - 8th Grade)
 
Learn about Earth science as you never have before – by handling messy slime and conducting noisy and colorful experiments. Discover the physics, chemistry and biology of volcanoes, rain clouds, rock formation and other natural phenomena as you stomp, squeeze and sometimes eat your way through hands-on activities.
 
Squid Dissection
January 16, 2019 | 3:00 – 6:00 PM | Pacific Beach Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Things may get a little inky as students work together to dissect a real squid. Students will develop scientific research skills as they learn about squids and other animals found in ocean ecosystems.
 
Physics of Fidget Spinners
January 19, 2019 | 2:00 - 5:00 PM | City Heights/Weingart Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Ever wonder why some fidget spinners spin longer or hum louder than others? You will discover answers to these questions and much more as we learn about motion, tension, gravity and other fantastic phenomena related to fidget spinners and the world at large.
 
Viruses: The Zombies of Biology
January 19, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM | Serra Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Middles School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
What do vampires, zombies and viruses all have in common? Find out at a workshop where you’ll learn about some of the world’s most interesting (and dangerous) diseases, how they are transmitted and why some of them are so harmful to the human body. Use creative methods - like clay models, comic-writing, infographics or storytelling - to showcase your knowledge about viruses and find out how they might relate to icons in popular culture (like Spider-man, or Venom!).
 
Slimy Sea Creatures
January 22, 2019 | 4:30 – 7:30 PM | Logan Heights Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Want to learn about sea stars, sand dollars, moon snails and other slimy creatures? In this class, you will act as a marine biologist as you discover the secrets of how octopuses change color and how oysters make pearls. Finish the class by creating artwork inspired by your underwater exploration.
 
Slime and Non-Newtonian Fluids
January 23, 2019 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM | San Ysidro Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Slime: it’s slippery, gooey, malleable and oozy. But did you know you could use it to illustrate phenomena in the natural world? Just like slime, Earth’s glaciers, mudslides and quaking bogs are made of fluids that are neither liquid nor solid. Prepare for slimy fun as we investigate the interplay between viscosity, friction and gravity. Slime recipes included!
 
Coding With DIY Drones
January 26, 2019 | 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM | Mission Valley Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Get ready to program and fly pocket-sized drones through aerial acrobatic missions! Working in groups, students will build a remote controller and program a drone to compete in a high-flying race. DIY Drones are for in-class use only. The class is recommended for students with little or no experience with circuits and computer programming.
 
Messy Science
January 26, 2019 | 2:00 – 5:00 PM | Paradise Hills | Register Here
Level: Elementary School (3rd – 5th Grade)
 
Learn about Earth science as you never have before – by handling messy slime and conducting noisy and colorful experiments. Discover the physics, chemistry and biology of volcanoes, rain clouds, rock formation and other natural phenomena as you stomp, squeeze and sometimes eat your way through hands-on activities.
 
Stop Motion Movie Making
January 26, 2019 | 1:00 - 4:00 PM | Mira Mesa Library | Register Here
Level: Elementary School (3rd – 5th Grade)
 
Discover the basics of stop-motion animation by working in two-person teams to make an animated movie. Teams will use different materials (construction paper, foam, Legos and other props) to create subjects for their movies. You’ll start by brainstorming ideas and creating storyboards, then use the kid-friendly Stop Motion Studio app to create frames, add sound and produce a final movie.
 
Slimy Sea Creatures
January 29, 2019 | 3:00 – 6:00 PM | Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library | Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Want to learn about sea stars, sand dollars, moon snails and other slimy creatures? In this class, you will act as a marine biologist as you discover the secrets of how octopuses change color and how oysters make pearls. Finish the class by creating artwork inspired by your underwater exploration.

February Programs

Quest Space Kit: Heat Experiments on the ISS
February 2, 2019 | 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Pacific Beach Library | Registration opens January 2, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
The Quest for Space Heat Starter Kit provides you an opportunity to explore the science of heating and cooling by building and programming three different experiments in radiation, convection, and conduction. You will build and customize the hardware for each experiment using heating bulbs and resistors, temperature sensors, various mounts, wires and screws. After the mechanical assembly, you will spend time programming and customizing in the Arduino environment and C programming language to your experiment and collect data automatically. Finally, you will run your experiment configuration on the ISS and analyze the data to determine how different types of heat transfer affect heating and cooling behavior in microgravity.
 
Medicine and the Heart
February 2, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM | Rancho Penasquitos Library | Registration opens January 2, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Explore the body’s circulatory system, with a focus on the heart. Get an introduction to human anatomy and physiology and learn about different diseases linked to the heart. This workshop is for students with an interest in anatomy, especially those considering careers in medicine.
 
Eclipse
February 6, 2019 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM | San Ysidro Library| Registration opens January 6, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Throughout history, the movement of the skies has been a source of fascination and an inspiration for both mythology and exploration. Much folklore surround eclipses, when one celestial body passes through the shadow of another. Often these have been interpreted as powerful portents or divine acts. In this class, we will explore the history of human understanding of eclipse events and trace the evolution of the science that led to the current view of the mechanics of the Earth-Moon-Sun system and the solar system as a whole. From this foundation we develop the means to predict and observe directly these events when they occur. Finally, we build pinhole cameras that allow participants to SAFELY observe the sun and its interactions with all that orbit in its gravitational pull. These classes are led by high-level, fun-loving, scientists who will also introduce and discuss exciting new research revealing the existence other earths, moons and suns similar to our own.
 
Marine Mammals of California
February 16, 2019 | 2:30 – 5:30 PM | City Heights/Weingart Library | Registration opens January 16, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
A large number of creatures call the ocean home, and many of them are mammals. In this workshop, students will explore the characteristics of marine mammals, especially the dolphins, whales and seals found off the California coast. Through hands-on activities, students will learn about marine mammal adaptations, such as echolocation in whales and locomotion in seals and sea lions. Students will also study coloration and fur patterns by sculpting marine mammals in clay to take home. The goal of this course is to leave students with a better understanding of California marine mammals and how we can make simple changes in our lives to help preserve these fascinating creatures.
 
Medicine and the Heart
February 16, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM | Serra Mesa Library | Registration opens January 16, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Explore the body’s circulatory system, with a focus on the heart. Get an introduction to human anatomy and physiology and learn about different diseases linked to the heart. This workshop is for students with an interest in anatomy, especially those considering careers in medicine.
 
Animation and Video Game Design Using Scratch
February 16, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM | Linda Vista Library | Registration opens January 16, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Make zombies, princesses and flying carpets come to life as you develop your own online game! Using the computer program Scratch, students will learn about character and storyboard design as well as basic animation to create their own games. No prior computer coding experience is required.
 
Stephen Hawking, Dark Holes and the Science of Space and Time
February 16, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM | Mira Mesa Library | Registration opens January 16, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Learn about the life of the late Stephen Hawking, one of the most famous physicists of all time, who left an indelible scientific legacy. In this interactive class, we will examine Hawking’s life, disability, writings, imperfections and contributions to science. No prior knowledge is required.
 
Squid Dissection
February 19, 2019 | 3:00 – 6:00 PM | Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library | Registration opens January 19, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Things may get a little inky as students work together to dissect a real squid. Students will develop scientific research skills as they learn about squids and other animals found in ocean ecosystems.
 
Slimy Sea Creatures
February 20, 2019 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM |San Ysidro Library | Registration opens January 20, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Want to learn about sea stars, sand dollars, moon snails and other slimy creatures? In this class, you will act as a marine biologist as you discover the secrets of how octopuses change color and how oysters make pearls. Finish the class by creating artwork inspired by your underwater exploration.
 
Quest Space Kit: Heat Experiments on the ISS
February 23, 2019 | 2:00 – 5:00 PM | Paradise Hills Library | Registration opens January 26, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
The Quest for Space Heat Starter Kit provides you an opportunity to explore the science of heating and cooling by building and programming three different experiments in radiation, convection, and conduction. You will build and customize the hardware for each experiment using heating bulbs and resistors, temperature sensors, various mounts, wires and screws. After the mechanical assembly, you will spend time programming and customizing in the Arduino environment and C programming language to your experiment and collect data automatically. Finally, you will run your experiment configuration on the ISS and analyze the data to determine how different types of heat transfer affect heating and cooling behavior in microgravity.
 
Marine Mammals of California
February 26, 2019 | 4:00 – 7:00 PM | Skyline Library | Registration opens January 26, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
A large number of creatures call the ocean home, and many of them are mammals. In this workshop, students will explore the characteristics of marine mammals, especially the dolphins, whales and seals found off the California coast. Through hands-on activities, students will learn about marine mammal adaptations, such as echolocation in whales and locomotion in seals and sea lions. Students will also study coloration and fur patterns by sculpting marine mammals in clay to take home. The goal of this course is to leave students with a better understanding of California marine mammals and how we can make simple changes in our lives to help preserve these fascinating creatures.
 
DIY Bio: Engineering Biology
February 26, 2019 | 4:30 – 7:30 PM | Logan Heights Library | Registration opens January 26, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
How can we grow flowers that change color, produce microbes that make perfumes, or build organs from scratch? In this Library NExT workshop, students will explore synthetic biology, the intersection of biology and engineering. They will find out how DNA can be changed to alter the way biological systems work. Students will also learn about bioprinting – using 3D printing to make functional body parts – and try out this technology as they create models and art pieces to take home.

March Programs

Messy Science
March 2, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM | Serra Mesa Library | Registration opens February 2, Register Here
Level: Elementary School (3rd – 5th Grade)
 
Learn about Earth science as you never have before – by handling messy slime and conducting noisy and colorful experiments. Discover the physics, chemistry and biology of volcanoes, rain clouds, rock formation and other natural phenomena as you stomp, squeeze and sometimes eat your way through hands-on activities.
 
DIY Bio: Engineering Biology
March 2, 2019 1:00 – 4:00 PM | Linda Vista Library | Registration opens February 2, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th - 8th Grade)
 
How can we grow flowers that change color, produce microbes that make perfumes, or build organs from scratch? In this Library NExT workshop, students will explore synthetic biology, the intersection of biology and engineering. They will find out how DNA can be changed to alter the way biological systems work. Students will also learn about bioprinting – using 3D printing to make functional body parts – and try out this technology as they create models and art pieces to take home.
 
Quest Space Kit: Heat Experiments on the ISS
March 9, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM | Rancho Penasquitos Library | Registration opens February 2, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
The Quest for Space Heat Starter Kit provides you an opportunity to explore the science of heating and cooling by building and programming three different experiments in radiation, convection, and conduction. You will build and customize the hardware for each experiment using heating bulbs and resistors, temperature sensors, various mounts, wires and screws. After the mechanical assembly, you will spend time programming and customizing in the Arduino environment and C programming language to your experiment and collect data automatically. Finally, you will run your experiment configuration on the ISS and analyze the data to determine how different types of heat transfer affect heating and cooling behavior in microgravity.
 
Ocean Series: Discovering the Mysteries of Kelp Forests
March 13, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM | Skyline Hills Library | Registration opens February 13, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Delve into the underwater ecosystem of San Diego’s kelp forest as you learn about algae and other incredible organisms. Interactive “creature features” will highlight a variety of marine creatures, including invertebrates, fish and sharks. Students will apply what they learn about marine biology as they create an art project using watercolor pencils.
 
Quest Space Kit: Heat Experiments on the ISS
March 16, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM | City Heights/Weingart Library| Registration opens February 16, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
The Quest for Space Heat Starter Kit provides you an opportunity to explore the science of heating and cooling by building and programming three different experiments in radiation, convection, and conduction. You will build and customize the hardware for each experiment using heating bulbs and resistors, temperature sensors, various mounts, wires and screws. After the mechanical assembly, you will spend time programming and customizing in the Arduino environment and C programming language to your experiment and collect data automatically. Finally, you will run your experiment configuration on the ISS and analyze the data to determine how different types of heat transfer affect heating and cooling behavior in microgravity.
 
Craftronics
March 16, 2019 | 1:00 - 4:00 PM | Skyline Hills Library | Registration opens February 16, Register Here
Level: Elementary School (3rd – 5th Grade)
 
Explore the basics of circuits and electronic elements by using them in various craft projects. Build a moving origami swam, fashion wearable light-up LED bracelets and pins, construct moving robot bugs, erect a Play-Doh electronic sculpture, create paper circuit games and light effects cards. The workshop combines crafting and technology to bring your creations to life. Each student will take home a working electronic craft.
 
Messy Science
March 20, 2019 | 3:00 - 6:00 PM | Pacific Beach Library | Registration opens February 20, Register Here
Level: Elementary School (3rd – 5th Grade)
 
Learn about Earth science as you never have before – by handling messy slime and conducting noisy and colorful experiments. Discover the physics, chemistry and biology of volcanoes, rain clouds, rock formation and other natural phenomena as you stomp, squeeze and sometimes eat your way through hands-on activities.
 
Craftronics
March 23, 2019 | 1:00 - 4:00 PM | Mira Mesa Library | Registration opens March 2, Register Here
Level: Elementary School (3rd – 5th Grade)
 
Explore the basics of circuits and electronic elements by using them in various craft projects. Build a moving origami swam, fashion wearable light-up LED bracelets and pins, construct moving robot bugs, erect a Play-Doh electronic sculpture, create paper circuit games and light effects cards. The workshop combines crafting and technology to bring your creations to life. Each student will take home a working electronic craft.
 
Eclipse
March 23, 2019 | 2:00 – 5:00 PM | Paradise Hills Library | Registration opens February 23, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Throughout history, the movement of the skies has been a source of fascination and an inspiration for both mythology and exploration. Much folklore surround eclipses, when one celestial body passes through the shadow of another. Often these have been interpreted as powerful portents or divine acts. In this class, we will explore the history of human understanding of eclipse events and trace the evolution of the science that led to the current view of the mechanics of the Earth-Moon-Sun system and the solar system as a whole. From this foundation we develop the means to predict and observe directly these events when they occur. Finally, we build pinhole cameras that allow participants to SAFELY observe the sun and its interactions with all that orbit in its gravitational pull. These classes are led by high-level, fun-loving, scientists who will also introduce and discuss exciting new research revealing the existence other earths, moons and suns similar to our own.
 
Exploring the Science of Harry Potter
March 23, 2019 | 2:30 – 5:30 PM |Mission Valley Library| Registration opens February 23, 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. Explore the science and magic of the world of Harry Potter through video clips, presentations, discussions, activities and artwork. Topics include genetics and trait prediction (parseltongue, giants, squibs), acid/base chemistry (Marauder’s Map), fantastic beasts and herbology.
 
Stephen Hawking, Dark Holes and the Science of Space and Time
March 26, 2019 | 4:30 – 7:30 PM | Logan Heights Library | Registration opens February 23, Register Here
Level: Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)
 
Learn about the life of the late Stephen Hawking, one of the most famous physicists of all time, who left an indelible scientific legacy. In this interactive class, we will examine Hawking’s life, disability, writings, imperfections and contributions to science. No prior knowledge is 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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