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Archive for the ‘Library’ Category

The future is now on St. Petersburg College’s Seminole Campus.

The recent opening of the Innovation Lab in the library at the campus drew more than 100 people, including a who’s who of college, community and tech leaders.

Creative learning environments like the lab, often called makerspaces, are growing in popularity. In SPC’s lab, instructors, students and library card holders can use the latest technology tools, including a 3D printer, Cublets KT06 modular robots and the Korg littleBits circuits in seconds kit. With the Monolith 3D printer, made locally by Free Fab 3D, users can create virtually any object through a wide variety of computer programs. In fact, much of the printer itself was created on a 3D printer.

The Cubelets modular robotics kit lets users build surprisingly complex robots out of simple parts that fit together like building blocks. The Korg littleBits kit is a do-it-yourself synthesizer used to compose original electronic music in mere seconds.

The lab also includes an iMac and a desktop running Ubuntu Linux, giving users a taste of different operating systems and the programs they offer, such as Apple’s newly released Swift programming language.

One of the computers in the lab is dedicated to podcasting and audio experiments, and has a professional grade microphone and mixer. All of this was made possible by SPC librarian Chad Mairn’s vision, a $3,500 college innovation grant and help from Seminole Campus Provost Jim Olliver.

Guests at the morning and evening grand opening parties included SPC President Bill Law, Seminole Vice Mayor Thomas Barnhorn, Seminole City Council member Patricia Plantamura, and Lance Eppley and Fri Rider, the designers of the Monolith 3D printer. Mo Eppley of the St. Pete Makers, also attended. St. Pete Makers is a non-profit group seeking to bring a high-tech makerspace to St. Petersburg.

The innovators demonstrated what the lab’s 3D printer was capable of, showing off many complex designs that were created on the Monolith such as a bearing printed as a single piece. Most importantly, members of the community – young and old – filled the lab and spilled out into the hall during the grand opening parties.

One guest, a 12-year-old Android app developer, volunteered to teach a workshop on mobile development. Mairn was quick to accept and noted that the lab will host a wide variety of workshops and guest speakers. Among them will be the creator of a makerspace in Taiwan who will connect with guests via teleconference on the lab’s smart TV and webcam.

The lab will host its first workshop on June 12, 10 a.m. – noon, on how to create a LibraryBox, a palm-sized computer designed to serve files in areas with no Internet access. The workshop is free and open to the public.

The Innovation Lab is currently seeking volunteers to help run the lab. You can apply online or by contacting Chad Mairn at 394-6917.

Check out our Facebook gallery of the Innovation Lab opening. Read coverage of the Innovation Lab in, the Tampa TribuneTMCnet.com and 83degreesmedia.com.

SPC student Chris Demmons, who writes for SPC’s student newspaper, Sandbox News, provided this report. Read his story in Sandbox News.

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The number of students visiting an SPC Learning Center keeps climbing and so do the success rates for those who keep coming back. For the spring 2014 term, a total of 14,037 students made 108,544 visits to campus Learning Centers, up 29 percent from last spring when 13,157 students made 84,117 visits.

“Our greatest increase this spring was in the number of class visits and workshops we delivered to students,” said Heather Disler, associate director of Learning Resources at SPC Downtown and Midtown. “The number of classes that visited a library or Learning Center increased by 30 percent (from spring 2013). Additionally, the Learning Resources staff worked with faculty to design relevant, timely and student-focused workshops. We served more than 1,800 students with small group workshops where students received greater individual attention.”

At SPC’s seven campus Learning Centers, students can take advantage of individual tutoring, workshops, library instructions, small-group learning sessions and computer assistance.

Students who visited a Learning Center more than 10 times in the spring term were the most successful. Overall, 74 percent of students who visited a Learning Center once or twice received grades of A, B or C. Success rates grew to 82 percent when students visited ten or more times.

By the numbers, spring 2014

Total services given
110,216 total services given in spring 2014
33,729 selected services in math, science and writing

Student use
14,037 unduplicated students
108,544 total student visits

Faculty engagement
150 Full-time faculty have contributed 2,053 hours

Library instructions
334 library instructions served 6,899 students

Class visits
305 class visits served 6,023 students

Workshops
450 workshops served 1,793 students

students-tutored-chart
SS-GROUPS
 SSrates-campus
TSG-chart
Class Visits chart

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Students take a moment to chill in the Chill Zone at the Tarpon Springs Campus during the spring 2014 finals week.

Students take a moment to chill in the Chill Zone at the Tarpon Springs Campus during the spring 2014 finals week.

To help alleviate the stress of final exams, the Learning Resources department at SPC launched the Chill Zone, a relaxation area at the entrance of the Tarpon Springs Campus library, during the spring semester finals week.

The event helped promote student engagement and success by giving students a place to relax during the stressful academic week.

Ethan Hart, associate director of Learning Resources at the Tarpon Springs Campus, wanted to offer a variety of tools to ease students’ stress.

“We wanted to appeal to our students’ different needs by offering art activities, relaxing music, snacks, games and visits by a licensed therapy dog,” Hart said.

The Chill Zone was a hit, thanks in part to funding by the Tarpon Springs Campus Provost Office as well as art materials from the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. Students congregated in the comfy seating area daily, taking time to visit with friends, catch up on reading or hone their art skills with coloring books.

Bailey, the therapy dog from Suncoast Hospice, also was a fan favorite. Students in the middle of cramming for finals took a much needed break when the friendly Bichon Frise stopped by to say hello.

Student Nick Emery visits the Chill Zone and spends quality time with Bailey the therapy dog.

Student Nick Emery visits the Chill Zone and spends quality time with Bailey the therapy dog.

Students, staff and faculty have been overwhelmingly supportive of the Chill Zone in recent surveys. The Learning Resources department plans to offer this service every term during finals week.

The Chill Zone served as only one of many Spring 2014 initiatives aimed at increasing student engagement by the campus’ Learning Resources department. Other activities included:

  • “Ed App Wednesday” – Each week, Learning Resources staff members highlighted a free, new educational tool useful for students. Armed with cards, posters and QR codes, staff members walked around campus on Wednesdays, letting the campus community know about the resources that were available.
  • Educational outreach – Learning Resources staff set up a table at Student Life and Leadership events like the Earth Day celebration, Welcome Back Week and African-American History month. Staff members brought library books related to the event theme, workshop schedules and an iPad to answer any on-the-spot questions.

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Event

The Seminole Community Library will be the location of the grand opening of the SPC’s new Innovation Lab next week.

YOU’RE INVITED:
SPC employees and the public are invited to the grand opening
Tuesday, June 3
11 a.m. to noon and 6 to 7 p.m.
Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College
9200 113th St., Seminole, LI 201.

The lab serves as a creative environment, often called a makerspace, that will provide people with common interests like computers, technology, science or digital arts a location to socialize and collaborate on ideas and learn new skills. Visitors to the SPC location will be able to learn how to program different devices, such as the Raspberry Pi, the Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Board and the ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board.

The lab offers:

  • 3-D printer
  • FreeFab3D Monolith 3D Printer built locally using other 3D printers
  • littleBits Synth Kit
  • Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Circuit Board Experimentation Kit
  • Avid Fast Track Duo Audio Interface with Pro Tools Express
  • An iMac, 2 Linux computers, and 1 Windows computer
  • A variety of Open Source Software applications for 3D printing, design etc.
  • MaKey MaKey: Original Invention Kit
  • Cubelets KT06 Kit
  • ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board
  • 2 CanaKit Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kits
  • Apollo Precision Tools 53-Piece Tool Kit
  • Parallax Programmable Boe-Bot Robot Kit
  • Elenco Deluxe Learn To Solder Kit
  • Samsung 32-Inch 1080p LED HDTV with Logitech TV Cam HD for Skype Calls
  • Chromecast
  • Online File Distribution System for access to project files, open access resources, etc.
  • Reference collection including books and magazines

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The public is invited to the grand opening of the Innovation Lab
Date: Tuesday, June 3
Time: 11 a.m.-noon and 6-7 p.m.
Where: Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College
9200 113th St, Seminole, LI 201

Beginning in June, budding creators and innovators can share ideas, create robots, learn or sharpen programming skills and build objects using 3-D printers at St. Petersburg College’s new Innovation Lab. The space, located in the Seminole Community Library, provides a modern, technologically advanced version of your dad’s garage, so to speak.

The lab’s grand opening is June 3 in room 201 from 11 a.m. – noon and 6 to 7 p.m. at SPC’s Seminole Campus. The event, at 9200 113th St., Seminole, is open to the public.

These creative learning environments, often called makerspaces, are growing in popularity, said Information Services Librarian Chad Mairn, who received a $3,500 Innovation Grant from the St. Petersburg College Foundation to start the lab.

“For years we’ve been more consumption oriented, but now the trend is moving towards creating while discovering things yourself,” said Mairn. “With these technology tools, you can design and build things, learn, and share ideas instead of passively consuming information.”

The space will provide an area where people with common interests like computers, technology, science or digital arts can socialize and collaborate on ideas and learn new skills. In SPC’s lab, which is open to the public, visitors can learn how to program different devices, such as the Raspberry Pi, the Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Circuit Board and the ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board.

Instructional Technologist Nancy Munce shows off the cookie cutter she created in SPC’s Innovation Lab.

Instructional Technologist Nancy Munce shows off the cookie cutter she created in SPC’s Innovation Lab.

“That lab is going to be phenomenal,” said Instructional Technologist Nancy Munce, who used the 3-D printer to create a cookie cutter she designed from scratch. “Those printers are still wickedly expensive; too expensive to have at home. The potential to learn valued skills is remarkable.”

Munce saw Mairn’s enthusiastic Facebook post about the lab and took him up on his offer to get involved. She was looking to prepare cookies for a friend who was graduating from the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

She figured out how to use Adobe Illustrator to create an outline for the cookie cutter and then used a 3-D CAD (computer-assisted design) program for the rest.

“I poked around and somehow figured it all out,” said Munce. “Basically this saved me from having to cut three dozen cookies by hand.”

In addition to the printer, the lab will have:

  • FreeFab3D Monolith 3D Printer built locally using other 3D printers
  • littleBits Synth Kit
  • Arduino Genuine Mega 2560 Circuit Board Experimentation Kit
  • Avid Fast Track Duo Audio Interface with Pro Tools Express
  • An iMac, 2 Linux computers, and 1 Windows computer
  • A variety of Open Source Software applications for 3D printing, design etc.
  • MaKey MaKey: Original Invention Kit
  • Cubelets KT06 Kit
  • ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board
  • 2 CanaKit Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kits
  • Apollo Precision Tools 53-Piece Tool Kit
  • Parallax Programmable Boe-Bot Robot Kit
  • Elenco Deluxe Learn To Solder Kit
  • Samsung 32-Inch 1080p LED HDTV with Logitech TV Cam HD for Skype Calls
  • Chromecast
  • Online File Distribution System for access to project files, open access resources, etc.
  • Reference collection including books and magazines

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St. Petersburg College’s Seminole Campus and the City of Seminole/Seminole Community Library celebrated their partnership with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new Environmental Path. The ceremony also included the planting of two live oaks to signify the enduring partnership and dedication of a bench along the path donated by the Friends of the Seminole Library.

Cutting the ribbon along with Seminole Campus Provost Jim Olliver are Library Director Michael Bryan, Mayor Leslie Waters, Student Government President Jonathan Jacques and a host of faculty, staff, friends and city officials:

ribbon cutting

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St. Petersburg College students are hearing the college’s message about the importance of out-of-class support. While students come to the Campus Learning Centers for a variety of reasons, the number who come for free tutoring continues to grow.

Student use of tutoring services in the Campus Learning Centers so far this fall is up 89 percent compared to last fall.

The graphic below shows the breakdown by campus and by discipline of those visits last week for math and statistics, science and reading/writing/speech. Those three areas draw the largest number of students seeking help.

The graphic represents only the visits for Week 9. Total visits in these areas for the semester so far number almost 13,000.

Tutorial-Services_Oct-23

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