Create Your Own Divergent Release Party: Part 3

Well, the week is finally upon us!  This Friday thousands of teens (and non-teen fans of YA) will flock in costume (and not) to their local theater to catch a glimpse of Divergent come to life.

I will be celebrating in my usual way for this kind of thing- in a panic that no one will come to the huge event I have planned and then rapidly winding my way through all the crazy activities I’ve planned when a ton of kids do show up.

Here’s where my party stands at this point:

Building Leap Photo Booth – Green screen photos will make it appear teens are leaping off of a building

Fear Maze  – Teens drink a blue drink, enter a sensory maze with 5 potential channels which will “sort” them into their factions.  It will be constructed from large cardboard boxes, black garbage bags and box fans which will fill everything with air.  There will be various sensory challenges like crawling through stringy things, over wet things, over crunchy things, etc.  Anyone who can’t finish they will be Factionless.  Upon emerging teens  will be given a faction button (made on our button maker!) to wear proudly.  They will then report to their faction to do their duty. (tee-hee!)
Amity Faction Duty – Make popcorn, hand popcorn out to teen participants, train your next faction member in how to make popcorn and hand it out
Abnegation Faction Duty – Use Metal Stamping equipment to teach teen participants how to make watch sized piece of washer bling and train your next Abnegation member how to do this.  Also, for the daring I’ll have a no mirror makeup challenge set up!
Candor Faction Duty – Lead teen participants through a positive honesty exercise I saw here.
Divergent  Faction Duty – Tattoo (temporarily) teen participants and the next Dauntless member, teach the next Dauntless Member how to tattoo.  These tattoos will be created using our vinyl cutter so they’re totally unique and like nothing else out there!
Erudite Faction Duty – Explain to the next Erudite Teen that you are actually in charge of the Fear Maze Entrance. Once you have debriefed the next member on how it works, go lead teen participants through the maze.
Movie Previews – Blasting on one huge white wall will be the official trailers and teasers from the Divergent Website!
Volunteers– So far I have 15-20 volunteers who will  run all the stations.  The are enough volunteers that they can each work for half the party then play the rest of the time!
Prizes: We got 5 movie tickets donated and bought three paperbacks to give away.  Also, a local makeup artist agreed to volunteer at the event so we’ll be giving away 15-minute on the spot makeovers!
Decorations– I’ve found some great faction specific images I have cached on Pinterest for each alcove/faction activity.  I’ll give away the posters at the end of the night (inadvertent help breaking down!) to kids who didn’t win our other prizes.
I’ll be cutting, stretching & hanging black garbage bags to help create a Dystopian , garbage strewn vibe.  (That’s what the picture is of but there will be more pictures to follow, I promise!)
The popcorn bags all have little Amity Trees glued to them to make it look as if it’s a government issued snack.
Oh!  And volunteers will be cosplaying their favorite factions!  That oughta’ add to the vibe!
Now to find some dubstep to blast in that fear maze, excuse me…

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The 3 D’s of 3D Printing – Necessity is the Mother of Invention

The 3 D's of 3D Printing - Necessity is the Mother of invention

It was a dark and stormy night. @justinthelibrarian was giving me a ride home as my car had been totaled a couple days before on the winding and treacherous mountain road that leads to my apartment. We were both feeling frazzled by our 3D printer.

Sure, it was a lot of fun but as tends to happen with many library services it was becoming a novelty that folks wanted instant gratification from. If any of you have played with 3D printers by now you know they aren’t speed machines. An object the size of your fist can easily take 3-5 hours to produce depending on what kind of meat hooks you’ve got and the specifics you put into the printer. This was resulting in a lot of “Make me this” and “I’ll be back in a few days to pick it up” which meant we were essentially a two man queue of constant printing. And not just cute little things, ridiculous 8-16 hour jobs of things that were gimmicky test runs.

It’s total human nature to want to make the biggest, craziest thing you possibly can get away with when it comes to cool, free technology but we felt the point was being missed and it was a drain on our time and resources. In short, it was totally bumming us out. Something had to be done and on that short car ride the idea of the 3 D’s of 3D Printing was born.

What we wanted people to be taking away from using this machine was inspiration and a desire to learn more about design and how it can affect our society, not just trinkets. But trinkets are cool too and we didn’t want to take those away either!

Now we’ve worked out a way for our patrons to have one on one time with a librarian who will teach them step by step how to use the websites and programs available to start by reproducing and designing their own small and trinkety objects. In each step they graduate into thinking like designers and learning about the social impact these machines can have.

Justin’s written a great piece on the plan we’ve developed for kids to earn their first 3D Printing License here. It’s kind of like working through the belts in karate, this lowest level license is the White License. With this license you’re allowed to print one object per day that takes 1 hour or less to print and you can ask a librarian to change the color of the filament before the print begins. This allows kids to level up and earn those big prints they really want while learning what is and is not going to work. It creates order around the printer since each person can print one item per day and allows a greater number of patrons access to the printer at the same time. It has provided an incredible transformation and the parents love it!

We’re still tweaking the next 3 challenges kids will need to complete in order to earn their Yellow License but we had to share what we’ve worked out because chances are if we’re experiencing these growing pains with our 3D printer so are you and this might just be an option that works for you as well!

Tell me if this helps you out or if you have other road blocks you’ve encountered so far in the comments!

Oh, and I’ve finally found a new car now and am back on the road in case you were wondering. Viva la VW!