Kids have fun with science during Makerspace at library

Photo by FFR Marketing

Reid Tokeshi

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Morale, Welfare and Recreation

The scene was something not normally found at a library; kids were using food to play music on a computer.

They were tapping on bananas, grapes, donuts and tater tots, all wired to a circuit board displaying a piano and bongo drum on the screen. Smiles indicated they were having fun while discovering Makerspace at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Library, Sept. 5.

Makerspace is an activity meant for youth to have fun with hands-on learning tools. Library Director Phyllis Frenzel said it provides interactive ways to promote learning about science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

“Makerspaces are examples of the willingness and ability of libraries to evolve programs and resources in sync with the times in order to meet our customers’ changing needs,” Frenzel said.

When Morale, Welfare and Recreation Director Mark Richards sought programs for Makerspace, Frenzel jumped at the chance.

“I was only too happy to take the project on, because for some time I’d been wanting to start one for the library,” she said.

The Sept. 5 session was called Makey Makey. It consisted of a small circuit board with connectors that teaches the principles of electricity. The kids used different foods as conductors.

“The two big lessons from this are how one person or a group of people holding hands can complete a circuit and that salt-containing items are excellent conductors,” Frenzel said.

The kids completed the circuit by touching a piece of foil also connected to the circuit board.

The next Makerspace session is scheduled for Oct. 3 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. with a demonstration of Cubelets. Frenzel described it as tiny magnetized robotic blocks that have sensing, thinking and acting roles and can be configured in many ways. The Cubelet session is open to ages 4 and up. This is unlike the previous sessions where only children ages 8 and older were recommended due to the use of electricity.

Parental supervision is essential at each Makerspace and Frenzel shared that she hopes to eventually have the items available for checkout from the library.

“We hope that families will explore and expand on the basics in greater depth and encourage their kids to learn and develop critical thinking skills as they enjoy hands-on learning,” she said.

For more information, call 449-8299 or visit

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Category: News