Children’s Blog

We received the money!

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"Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" (Lewis Carroll)

We will be ordering the LEGO kits and computers asap, so we should have specific workshop dates very soon. Stay tuned!

Monster Crafts

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, so we get an early start around here. Check out these silly, not-so-spooky monsters we made in storytime:

In the meantime . . . more details

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The LEGOs we are buying for our workshops are called "WeDO Education sets." These special sets combine building blocks, gears, motors and sensors. Icon-based programming software adds interactivity. The included curriculum pack encourages teamwork and the discussion of relevant STEM concepts. We are also purchasing laptop computers to run the software and video cameras to help the participants document the learning process.

Our workshops will act as a “prequel” to the LEGO Robotics Clubs that are popular in many schools. Generally, these clubs are limited to middle school students and only 10 students are allowed on each team. Our target audience comprises 2nd-5th grade students and will accommodate 15-20 students per workshop. In addition to exploring crucial STEM concepts, a student who attends our workshops will have gained valuable hands-on experience that can be applied directly to participation in the LEGO Robot competitions.

Here is a sample of one of the Education Kit projects:

Hungry Alligator

Students will build and program a mechanical alligator that makes sounds and is motorized to open and close its jaw.



Trace the transmission of motion and transfer of energy through the machine. Identify the pulleys and belts and the slowing down mechanism at work in the model. Consider the needs of living animals.


Create a programmable model to demonstrate the knowledge and operation of digital tools and technological systems.


Build and test the alligator’s movement. Improve the alligator’s behavior by adding the motion sensor and programming sounds to coordinate with the movement.


Understand how the distance between an object and the motion sensor is important to how the sensor functions. Understand and use numbers to represent the type of sounds played and the amount of time the motor turns on.


Prepare and deliver a demonstration about alligators using the alligator model. Use technology to create and communicate ideas. Communicate in spoken or written forms using the appropriate vocabulary.


Belts, motion sensor, and pulley. Blocks: Motion Sensor Input, Motor On For, Motor This Way, Motor That Way, Number Input, Play Sound, Repeat, Start On Key Press and Wait For

iRobot at the Library!

Today we have a visit from Steve, an engineer for iRobot! He shared information about what it's like to work for the company, what mechanical engineers do for a company like iRobot and some of what iRobot builds. He also showed us two robots, Roomba a vacuum robot and Packbot a modular, adaptable and expandable robot that can perform surveillance, reconnaissance, detection and HazMat handling operations. The kids loved all the different capabilities of the Packbot, especially the camera and video options! 

Thank you to iRobot for a great program!!




Safety for Kids with Sergeant Groux

Yesterday we had a visit from the Winchester Police Department's safety officer, Sergeant Groux! He taught us all about bike safety, pedestrian safety (crossing the street) and calling 911. He also provided us with a great website for parents on safety inside and outside of the home. He also sent everyone home with their own Junior Officer's badge, Winchester is an even safer place now! Thank you Sergeant Groux for visiting us! We look forward to having you back at the library soon!


While you're waiting . . .

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While we’re all waiting for our funding to arrive, here are some web pages that will give you a better sense of what we'll be doing in our workshops:

  • This is the main page from LEGO Education that describes the WeDo construction kits.
  • Here is a presentation from LEGO Education that demonstrates the WeDo drag-and-drop programming software.
  • Here are a number of videos from LEGO Education discussing the use of WeDo kits as part of an elementary class curriculum.
  • This page from the Institute for Computing Education at Georgia Tech has pdfs of some of the build instructions from LEGO Wedo kits.