Hosting organization: Mountain Lakes Public Library Makerspace

County: Morris

Total Attendees: 21

On March 11th and 30th, the Mountain Lakes Public Library celebrated NJ StEM Month with an Icon-a-thon! The Icon-a-thon represented an approachable blend of Makerspace magic: combining collaboration, creativity, community, technical skills, and a connection between low and high technology. Their Icon-a-thon was inspired by thenounproject.com. The Noun Project is a digital site with over five million icons. Icons are visual guides that provide a clear message, such as ‘Please Recycle Plastic Bottles Here’. Their Icon-a-thon was a collaboration with local artist, Kiki Burlak, and high school student, Yash Samat. For over two hours, Mrs. Burlak provided unique illustration insights that helped everyone brainstorm (very important!), sketch with pencil and paper, and then transform their sketches with the Procreate app. Their grant funded tablet pencils were a perfect complement for exploring digital illustration. Elementary, middle, and high school age children, along with adults, first sketched their own icon themes such as ‘Hope’ ‘Coffee’, ‘Bubble Tea’, and ‘Eat Cheese!’. Everyone’s illustrations were personal and creative. They spent the last part of the afternoon developing icons for the theme, ‘Storytelling’. They had discussions about words and feelings that storytelling elicits. Final icons designed with the Procreate app included a storybook with reading glasses, a universal adult reading to two children, magical stars, a moon, and a story-time with letters, numbers, and an emoji. Designs will be on display for residents to view at the Mountain Lakes Public Library, and we will submit our final projects to the Noun Project for possible publication.