Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Duct Tape

When I presented at MLA last year, my co-presenter and I called it "Beyond Duct Tape: Programming for Today's Teens".   Really though, I have no beef with duct tape.  It remains a staple in my programming wheelhouse--a sentence that I'm not sure makes sense and which also makes me want to slap myself in the face.  ANYWAY!

I've found that teens need a lot more instruction than you would expect them to.  I always hope that they will just play and create and end up with awesome stuff, but their imaginations just don't seem to go that way.  I usually provide them with samples and instructions for roses and wallets, and this time around I had put in the newsletter that they could bring a t-shirt if they wanted to make a t-shirt bag.

While we did have a couple of reluctant ladies who I don't think ended up making anything other than a bit of a mess, most of the teens came well prepared this time around.  I'd only allocated an hour--next time I'll make it two.  They weren't ready to leave!  I let them stay over for about half an hour, but I had tickets to that night's Tiger's game so I had to kick them out eventually.

Lots of the instructions that I have used before haven't been detailed enough for teens who haven't done these kinds of projects before, so I drew my own.  Please admire my awesome skillz!

Friday, August 2, 2013


Pro Tip!  If your scissors are all gunky (let's say, hypothetically, that you and 25 or so teens have been using them to cut duct tape), close them on a clorox wipe and let them sit for a while.  Scrub at them with the wipe a bit, and they'll be as good as new!