Participation of Voltino Library in 2019 Croatian FIRST LEGO League

KURT, Jasminka and JURANKO LADAVAC, Marija (2019) Participation of Voltino Library in 2019 Croatian FIRST LEGO League. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session S05 - Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning. In: Librarians and information professionals as (pro)motors of change: immersing, including and initiating digital transformation for smart societies, 20-21 August 2019, Zagreb, Croatia.

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Language: English (Original)
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Participation of Voltino Library in 2019 Croatian FIRST LEGO League

The Voltino Library is a part of the library network of the Tin Ujević Libraries, all operating within the Zagreb City Libraries system. The Voltino Library is the only cultural center in our local community providing access to information, as well as various educational and cultural programs and workshops. Since 2014, the Voltino Library’s Department for Children and Youth has been implementing a program titled “Kids Say - Science is Cool!”, with goals of introducing basic principles and know-how of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)at a young age and stimulating use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) through fun activities. The introduction of robotics in 2017., additionally provided for several workshops focusing on basics of programming and new technologies using mBot and Cubetto robotic systems. In 2018, an opportunity to organize a LEGO Mindstorms workshop came to life through collaboration with American Corner Zagreb which enabled the Voltino Library to take part in FIRST LEGO League (FLL). The American Corner with its coordinator supported the program by providing all the necessary equipment with robotic kits and materials as well as promoting the robotics program in social media; the non-profit “Neki novi klinci” / “New Kids on the Block”, provided a dedicated coach; the Library secured a place to meet and work. FLL is an international program aiming to inspire children’s interest in science as well as curiosity, creativity, and teamwork. This year’s competition was themed “Into the Orbit“ and included children aged 9-16, across 96 countries worldwide. The Croatian competition was held on January 19, 2019, at the Faculty of Electronics and Computing, University of Zagreb. Our team “10 Volts” / “10 Volti” participated alongside fifteen other teams. Team “10 Volts“ was preparing for the competition for four months: kids reviewed literature, video materials, attended a special lecture in the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, and worked on building and programming LEGO Mindstorms robots. Our proposal, which we presented to the Competition Committee, called for establishing libraries of the future with communication centers which will provide earth-bound citizens contact with astronauts in outer space. Our team was recognized as the first and only public library team at this national competition; the committee highlighted the fact that public access to a library endorsing such projects also contributes to greater public sensibility for the aims and mission of the overall STEM project. This collaborative project with partners within the library community such as American Corner Zagreb, and a wider community such as a non-profit “Neki novi klinci” and the Končar corporation helped establish the Voltino Library not only as a cultural center, but the Library reached out to a broader community to build partnerships.The children on a team found a creative, fun, and educational space to get together in their free time thus fulfilling the mission of a public library in contemporary society.

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