We borrowed the HOMAGO model from the Chicago Public Libraries and created COGANO. It has a similar mission which is to provide a space for teens to explore technology, art, or just to socialize.
We provide Wii gaming, iPads, guitars, cameras, and art supplies. We also have a main activity for the day. Teens are encouraged to explore and/or participate in the main activity. The main activity is usually technology based and follows the connected learning model.
COGANO began as our 5-part summer reading club program series. Over 110 teens participated in COGANO and because of the success, we will continue to do COGANO throughout the year.
Special Activity: Comic Jam-June 2014
The main activity was comic book creating. We supplied paper and comic creation apps.
32 Teens ($0)
Special Activity: Tee Party-June 2014
The main activity was spray painting but the forecast called for rain so we tie dyed instead.
20 teens ($10 for tie dye supplies)
Special Activity: Stove Free Baking-June 2014
The main activity was baking. Teens rotated to three stations where they learned how to make cake in the microwave, they learned how to make mini desserts, and they learned frosting techniques. The mini desserts included: Oreo truffles, chocolate lasagna, and Oreo cheesecakes.
20 Teens ($125)
Click here to see the recipes.
Special Activity: Battle Royale-July 2014
26 Teens ($50 supplies)
Teens visited four stations: marshmallow shooter, Q-Tip launcher, and 2 catapults. All ideas, with the exception of the marshmallow shooter, came from the book-Weapons of Mass Destruction: Mini Weapons.
Special Activity: Maker Faire-July 2014
17 Teens ($25 for supplies)
The activities were spread out among various tables and they included: junk bots, Legos, locker crafts, and jewelry.
Special Activity: Stop Motion-October 2014
Sometime around 6pm, teens begin to gather in the library and annoy the overly sensitive staff. Security are forced to tell the teens to leave, but not on the 2nd Thursday of the month!
On the 2nd Thursday of the month, all 5th-12th graders are invited to Chill Out, Get Artsy, and Nerd On-COGANO.
We used the app, iStop Motion on our iPads. Teens were given a quick tutorial on how to use the app and then they were let loose into the library for 45 minutes to make their films. We then watched the films in a film festival style setting. Click “Stop Motion Films” to view the projects.
14 Teens ($0)
Special Activity: Minecraft-November 2014
This was our first venture into Minecraft. Since my colleague and I are noobs, we had a teen regular run the program.
32 Teens; $62 ($26 for the Minecraft account, $26 prizes $10 on snacks)
Special Activity: Coding-January 2015
Other activities included: Polymer clay; pearler beads; Wii gaming; iPads
16 teens ($5 for snacks)
We chose Hour of Code to teach coding. Unlike Scratch, Hour of Code (code.org) can be done on tablets. Teens take a short tutorial and are able create their own game. It takes about an hour to get a good grasp on it. It can take upwards of 2 hours to create a full game.
The great thing about code.org is that the teens can create a free account that will allow them to go home to work on their game.