Thursday, August 10, 2017

Video Game Development Challenge - Day 4

We had a very chill final class and we added the finishing touches to our games. These games are now playable on this very blog so enjoy!

Paper Art - Day 2

Home stretch today... We wrapped up our designs and ran them through our vinyl cutter. After that, we got creative and gave them our own unique twist. The results turned out great!

Here are some of them:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Video Game Development Challenge - Day 3

Video game grind continued today as the two people that showed went straight to work on their games. They will hopefully have a finished product by Thursday that we can download to a mobile device to play!

Paper Art - Day 1

We got started with our paper designs by brainstorming for ideas of what to cut out. After we chose what we wanted to do, we went ahead and opened them in Silhouette Studio, our vinyl cutter design software, and got them ready to cut!

On Thursday, we'll run them through out vinyl cutter.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Video Game Development Challenge - Day 3

We spent most of the first class getting reacquainted with and finding some inspiration from other games that people have created. Now it's time to get down to the task at hand and make some games!

Ozobot - Hour of Code Madhouse

Today was crazy we hosted an Hour of Code at the same time that we had an ozobots class. I don't think many students realized that the ozobots class was a 2-part class and you are supposed to attend both parts so we had a lot of new faces with people who had to get caught up on how to do everything very quickly. Thankfully some of our students from Tuesday were up to the challenge and helped Ahren teach class!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Video Game Development - Day 1 (Teens)

We had a pretty laid back class today. Only a couple people showed up, but that didn't stop them from starting to explore all that Flowlab can do to create games. Now we have until next Thursday to create our very game!

Ozobots - Day 1 (MidKids)

Nothing beats the feeling of the first PNG class of a new session. Today, we're going back to messing with the Ozobots! These popular, tiny robots are great for learning to code. We got started on building our very own obstacle course, and programmed our bots to go through it.

Thursday we will see which bots can make it through!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Soldering - Day 6

Today was everyone's most dreaded day...troubleshooting day. After completing the main build, we had a couple people who did not have working finished products. We tried to get to work. Some got their kits going, others, unfortunately, didn't. But that's how it can go in the world of soldering. We'll give give soldering another shot in the fall so be on the lookout!

Photoshop Poster Design - Day 4

We wrapped things up today and finished our prints today after a final review of our designs. They turned out great! Here are some of our finished products...

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Soldering - Day 5

We are starting to wrap up our projects now. We had a couple people finish their projects that met some troubles and others that are on the verge of finishing. Thursday's class will be dedicated to troubleshooting!

Photoshop Poster Design - Day 3

Our posters are finally coming together! We are finished with the majority of our designs and hopefully will come in on Thursday to do some touch-ups and print.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Soldering - Day 4

Everybody was extremely focused today. We all found our zone and kept chipping away at our kits. Next week, we hope to wrap everything up. The end is in sight!

Photoshop Poster Design - Day 2

After we finished prepping our design, the hard part started. We got going on our editing today and got very familiar with Photoshop. We learned how to use the lasso tool, manipulate shapes, use layers, and a lot more.

Next we will will continue and wrap up our posters so stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Soldering - Day 3

We are now into week 2 of our soldering project! We kept attacking our projects and are slowly getting closer to a finished product. We are looking to wrap up our soldering projects by next week.

Photoshop Poster Design - Day 1

We look at posters every single day. Movie posters, ads, and a million other types of posters. No one really stops and thinks of how these posters are made, but that's what this class is all about! We are going to get extremely familiar with Photoshop by designing our own unique posters on it.

Today mainly consisted of some heavy brainstorming and preparation. This is a two week class so we have plenty of time to get every detail of our posters just right.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Soldering - Day 2

The soldering continued today. Now that we're more comfortable with how to solder, we got right into the kits. Slowly, but surely, we are getting closer to having working FM radios and robot cars!

Next week we will continue to attack the kits  so stay tuned.

Book Page Art - Day 2

We wrapped up our designs today by adding the final touches and running it through our vinyl cutter one last time. After we had our book page cut with our design, we glued it to card stock to make it sturdier and customized it. Here are some of the results

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Soldering - Day 1

We had a good mix of soldering experts and novices today. The students that have done our soldering program before had a choice of which kit they wanted to do. They all chose an old robot racing kit and got going pretty quickly. The newcomers got a lesson in the basics of soldering. Technique, safety, and much more.

This class will go on until the end of the month so we're looking forward to seeing how all the kits turn up!

Book Page Art - Day 1

  We're making some awesome art today! Using our vinyl cutter and an old Harry Potter book, we were able to cut any design we desired into the book pages. The results turned out great!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Hour of Code

Today was another normal coding class. Everyone came in and kept adding to their repertoire of coding knowledge.

 Aside for the usual Khan Academy script coding and's block coding, we tried out Google's too!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tensegrity Structure Robots: Day 2 - Abstract Art

Today was the second day.  We built our structures last time so now it was time to add motion.  We hooked up some small motors run by coin batteries and then added pen and paper to create art!

Papercraft & Photoshop: Day 4 - The Final Countdown

Today was the last day of our Papercraft and Photography class. The kids made their own paper models, took pictures and then Photoshopped them.  Check them out, they look great!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Illinois Veterans' History Project

The Elmwood Park Public Library in association with Project Next Generation and the State Library of Illinois are proud to present an interview of United States Air Force veteran Dennis J. Wolfe, conducted by Magnus Shipinski.  This video was shot by Christian Caballero and edited by Magnus Shipinski.  Special thanks to Jay Shipinski for help with coordination and making things happen.

This interview has been sent to the State Library of Illinois for inclusion in the Illinois Digital Archive.

Thank you very much to Mr. Wolfe, Magnus, Jay and Christian for making this happen.

Click here for more information on the Illinois Veterans' History Project and to view more interviews with Illinois veterans be sure to check out the Illinois Veterans' History Project YouTube channel.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tensegrity Structure Robots: Day 1 - They're not really robots, huh...

Tensegrity Structures?  Robots?  Icosahedrons?

Ok, let me break it down for you.  First of all, you're right.  They're not really robots.  That was just kind of my cheap attempt to get you in the door.

They ARE tensegrity structures.  Tensegrity structures?  Tensional integrity a.k.a. floating compression is an architectural term that describes a structure that stays together by having each piece push or pull on another piece.

Icosahedrons are a type of polyhedron that has 20 sides.

So today we made a tensegrity structure that has 20 sides.  Next time, we're going to try hooking up a motor and adding some motion in hopes of being able to call these robots... even though that's a bit of stretch, it'll still be cool.

Papercraft & Photography: Day 3 - She's Crafty

Today is Day 3 of Papercraft & Photography.  The kids are finally finishing up their papercraft models and taking pictures.  A select few have even started to work in Adobe Photoshop to remove the backgrounds of their pictures and place their subjects in some bizarre and crazy backgrounds!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Papercraft & Photography - Day 2

We slowly started finishing up our designs today. We had to be a lot more precise today, paying more attention to small folds and whatnot. We finished a couple designs and got started on the Photoshoping process.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

No Cube Left Behind: Papercraft & Photography - Day 1

Who doesn't like an awesome craft? Everyone had the chance to to print out the character of their choice and make them come to life by turning the 2D paper into a 3D Cubecraft. On Thursday, we put these 3D crafts into Photoshop and add backgrounds or whatever else we want!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

TinkerCAD - Day 4

Today is the day. Everyone added the finishing touches to their designs and got them ready to be printed. We have a very diverse set of objects this time around, aside from all the fidget spinners.

We're all excited to see how they turn out!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

TinkerCAD - Day 3

We continued our designs today and even completed some! Stay tuned for our completed designs on Thursday

Father's Day Cards - Day 1

Father's Day is right around the corner! What better way to celebrate it that by giving our awesome dads than by making them a homemade Star Wars cards. This project consists of making a light saberout of LEDs and straws. The results turned out awesome!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

TinkerCAD - Day 2

The 3D printing grind continued today. We kept using the skills learned in the lessons and made some creative designs. We have people making fidget spinners, jewlery holders, instruments, cookie cutters, and pandas!

Next week, we will continue adding to these designs and if we're quick, start a new design. Stay tuned...

Mixcraft - Day 2 (MidKids)

Today was the last day to finish our songs! We added some cool instruments and made some complex rhythmns to form some, purposfully or not, avant-garde songs. These are the results!

Our next session is a Father's Day class so stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

TinkerCAD - Day 1

We're bringing back PNG for the summer! Everyone got a quick refresher on how TinkerCAD works and got to making their own designs. 

We now have a good starting point to our designs and will hopefully complete them by next week!

Mixcraft - Day 1 (MidKids)

Mixcraft is back! We are continuing our summer session by letting out some creativity which will hopefully result in some awesome tunes.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hour of Code!

As the first class of the summer, we had a pretty laid back session today. We coded in a nice, air-conditioned room, some using, others using

This was a great class to kick of the summer and we have a lot more in store!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

MAKE Your Summer Awesome

Upcoming PNG programs for Teens (6th grade & up) and MidKids (4th-6th grade). Sign up at the beginning of each month.

PNG TEENS 6th & Up Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4pm - 5pm


TinkerCAD 3D Printing & Design (4-part) 6/6 - 6/15

Learn to use the computer to create 3D models and then print them out on the Makerbot Replicator!  This class will teach you the basics of 3D design and how to use to create 3D objects that can be printed on any 3D printer.

TensegrityStructure Robot (2 part) 6/27 - 6/29

Create an tensegrity structure in the shape of an icosahedron out of rubberbands and straws and then hook your creation up to a motor and power to see it move!  Add some markers and you've got a scribblebot!


Maker Skills: Soldering (6 parts) 7/11 - 7/27

Join this Project Next Generation class if you want to learn how to solder!  We've got cool electronics kits that light up, drive and scurry.  When you're finished you can take your creation home with you and you'll be an expert in circuitry and soldering!


Video Game Development (4 part) 8/1 - 8/10

Try your hand at making a simple video game using Flowlab!

Hour of Code Thursdays from 2pm - 3pm

Not only is coding massively important to the fabric of our digital world, but it can also be pretty fun!  Sign up for this quick introduction to activities on and play fun games while learning the fundamentals of basic coding then try your hand on some of our programmable robots!




PNG MIDKIDS 4th & Up Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2pm - 3pm


MixcraftMusic Making (2 classes) - 6/6 - 6/8

Learn how to use the digital audio creation software Mixcraft and make your own song!

Father'sDay Card (2 classes) - 6/13 - 6/15

Make an awesome card for Dad this Father's Day using your own creativity and our Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting machine.

Papercraft& Photography (4 classes) 6/20 - 6/29

Create a unique papercraft figure, print it, assemble it, photograph it and then Photoshop it!


BookPage Art (2 part) 7/11 - 7/13

Create an awesome piece of art out of our old discarded book pages using our Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter.

Photoshop PosterDesign (4 part) 7/18 - 7/27

Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to create and print and poster of your very own design.


Use coding techniques you've picked up from our Hour of Code sessions to program our cute Ozobot robots to run an obstacle course (no previous coding experience necessary)!

PaperArt (2 part) 8/8 - 8/10

Use our Silhouette Cameo vinyl cutter to cut a design out of paper and then add some creative folding techniques to bring it to life!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Stop Motion Animation (MidKids)

Today was the last day of school here in Elmwood Park so we had a more empty and laid-back class than usual. We took another million photos depicting awesome battle scenes between characters we had lying around like Batman or some Legos. We then scrapped together those photos to make some interesting short films

Movie Maker Skills: Stop Motion - Day 2

We wrapped up out stop motion films today! We got creative with the editing and the results turned out great. Check them out!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stop Motion Animation (MidKids)

Today we were introduced to the world of stop motion animation! Movies like Chicaken Run or The Lego Movie use this technique to create a unique film style that we will be attempting to recreate. We scavenged through boxes of toys and Legos to find inspiration for our short film and took a million photos.

On Thursday, we will put all the photos together!

Movie Maker Skills: Stop Motion

We only had one person show up, so we left it up to him to do whatever he wanted. He decided to go back and finish up an old project from a previous stop-motion animation session. Now, going through the project a second time, we were able to add some awesome details and the project is in really good shape!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Secret Code Jewelry - Day 2 (MidKids)

Now that we know what coding, both cipher and script, we can use it to write secret messages! We used the substitution code we learned about yesterday to write our own secret messages and put them on a necklace or bracelet. Each combination of colors represented a letter

Movie Maker Skills: Editing (Day 4)

Our editors were hard at work finishing up our films on the last day. They walked right in and headed straight to work. We wouldn't dare interrupt them while they were so concentrated so there's no telling what they did, but the results turned out really well!  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Secret Code Jewelry - Day 1 (MidKids)

PNG and the Kids & Teens department are teaming up for a 2 part series on cipher coding! We got everyone familiar with what cipher coding is and how it related to the coding PNG is familiar with. After the quick intro, we had the opportunity to crack some codes of our own and do some script coding on

On Thursday, we will create our own cipher codes and make jewelry with a secret message on it using it!

Movie Maker Skills: Editing (Day 3)

The editing continued today as we start to wrap up the process. The hard work has already been done. We were now free to tinker with some elements of Adobe Premier that we have never used before. We implemented cool effects like clip reversing to really make our projects unique.

We have one day left to edit our masterpieces so stay tuned to how how the projects turn out!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day Cards (Day 2)

The design portion of class is over now we need to run our cardstock through the vinyl cutter and then remove excess paper, fold and put on the finishing touches!

Movie Maker Skills: Editing (Day 2)

We learned the basics of what it takes to construct a good scene in editing last time, so this time it's just continuing to get down to work on constructing our perfect versions of the footage provided free from

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mother's Day Cards - Day 1 (MidKids)

There's no better way to show your mom appreciation like making her your very own custom Mother's Day card! Using our vinyl cutter, we started cutting out card stock designs with our own personal messages to all our mothers. We ran into some trouble, but we're hoping to get it all fixed by Thursday!

Movie Maker Skills: Editing - Day 1

Today was one of our new movie making classes that, instead of embracing the whole movie making process, lets us really perfect our editing skills.

 We downloaded raw stock movie footage and used that to edit, skipping the filming process entirely. This footage, being as complex as it was, allows more advanced editing techniques like multiple camera angles

We stated strong today and will continue our editing Thursday!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Solder Make-Up Day 2!


Today we had another round of soldering just to see if we could finish the projects we started... AND WE DID!  Congrats to Rana for sticking with it, not giving up and getting her radio to work!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Hour of Code (MidKids)

Today, we decided to switch things up and have some fun with the old Kano kits. We haven't used them in a while so we figured we might as well! Everyone had a ball coding and messing around with games like Minecraft and Snake.

We like to have these sessions every month so be on the look out!

Soldering Make-up

We blew the dust off of our old soldering kit and gave it another crack after a failed attempt the first time around. We struggled at first and went through the tedious process of troubleshooting, looking for pieces that were installed the wrong way and faulty soldering points. After a whole lot of struggling, we got them to work! This is a PNG first, so great job everyone!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Paint Your Face - Day 2 (MidKids)

We finished up our photos today in Photoshop, adding some color and background. This results turned out awesome, as always. Check them out!

Video Game Challenge - Day 4 (Teens)

Our video game creating journey ends today. This isn't goodbye, however. We will continue to have these classes, as everyone seemed to really enjoy them. We finished up our games then got to play everyone's creations!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Paint Your Face - Day 1 (MidKids)

The classic PNG class is back! Since we've done this so many times, we let the pros pick pictures off the internet and got to tracing. We have some real artists in this class so this part was no problem. Thursday we will return and photoshop our pictures and add whatever backgrounds we want

Video Game Challenge - Day 3 (Teens)

The designing continued as we started adding more and more levels to our original games. We even managed to make our own version of Flappy Bird!

Thursday we will finish up and download these games to our mobile devices!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

TinkerCAD - Day 2 (MidKids)

We wrapped up our designs today and our 3D prints look awesome! We got really innovative this time around and came up with some creative designs. They should be printing soon , so be on the lookout, everyone!

Video Game Challenge - Day 2

Our game-designing adventure continued today as we continued adding to our levels. We started messing around with game behaviors that allowed for scrolling levels, objects that can destroy characters, and objects that can win a game

We will continue to make our games more complex as we continue next week.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TinkerCAD - Day 1 (MidKids)

Everyone's favorite class is back. Long-time TinkerCAD pros were able to get right into their design. New comers were able to fly through the basics. Our designs are coming along well. We will finish up and print on Thursday.

Video Game Challenge - Day 1

Everybody loves video games so who wouldn't want to learn how to make them? Today, using our new software over at, we were able to do just that!

Everyone had the opportunity to bring their imaginations to life and create their own worlds! We will make our worlds more complex  over the next 3 days and have these games ready to play for the whole world to enjoy!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Movie Making Marathon!

We had a marathon day of making movies with the girl scouts today!  They started from scratch with nothing more than an idea and a script and ended up with some proper cinema!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ozobot Obstacle Course Challenge - Day 2

Today was the last day everyone had to reach the finish line! With a little help to counter some faulty wheels, we had some winners! After that, we just tinkered with the coding software and made the ozobot do a whole bunch of crazy stuff

Vinyl Cutter - Day 2

We wrapped up the class today and finished putting our vinyl designs onto our glass panels! After some initial struggle, The results turned out great