Kid-Tech: Local students learn to be crafty with technology

HARLINGEN — Katy Quellhorst dashed across the library with a plastic tray mounted with batteries, lights and wires.

“Ms. Peña, we turned it on,” Katy, a fifth grader at Travis Elementary, said Thursday. She and several other students were gathered in the “Makerspace” area of the school library, now known as the Information Literacy Center.

Peña, the library media specialist, introduced the Makerspace concept into the library just this year, her first year at Travis.

“The Makerspace is really an area that allows students to build, experiment, design and create in a hands-on learning method,” Peña said. “Makerspace doesn’t take away from the traditional aspects of the ILC. It enhances it.”

The quick chatter of the children — third, fourth and fifth graders — confirmed the success of the program. At one table, several children on tablets tapped the ends of wires to cause different pitches of notes. At another, two boys used a program called Cubelets to build a train, one of many possibilities.

For the rest of this story and many other EXTRAS, go to our premium site,

Subscribe to it for only $6.99 per month or purchase a print subscription and receive the online version free, which includes an electronic version of the full newspaper and extra photo galleries, links and other information you can’t find anywhere else.