Lab Central

Lab Central at Redbridge Central Library is the space to create, learn, collaborate and innovate with new technologies. People of all ages are invited to: discover and test new technologies, learn programming and designing skills, experiment with virtual reality, circuits and robots, explore STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and much more

 Make sure to check this page regularly for updates and bring your family and friends to enjoy learning new digital skills. To receive email updates on the events at Lab Central be sure to join our Meetup group

 

The micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer 70 times smaller and 18 times faster than the original BBC Micro computers used in schools. And now any adult or child from 8 yrs+ can borrow it for free from any Redbridge Library!

It has 25 red LED lights that can flash messages and be used to create games as well as two programmable buttons that can be used to control games or pause and skip songs on a playlist. Create your very own code, compile your own script and let your imagination run wild. The possibilities are endless!

Visit the micro:bit website for projects, challenges and to even find out how to connect it with the micro:bit app for phones and tablets.

Remember to bring back you micro:bit on time to avoid paying any late return fines.

 

Come to this fun hands-on workshop and build a Jellyfish Robot by transforming recycling materials and using cool electronics. Learn with your child to program the BBC micro:bit, a pocket size codable computer, and tap into its motion sensor to illuminate your robot with colourful LEDs. You will be in awe when your jellyfish lights up with life while in movement! No previous experience necessary.

If you can, please bring with you a small, clean, used plastic bottle and other recycling materials of your choice for the tentacles for this robotic transformation! This workshop is part of our “Reuse, Recycle...Robots” project supported by Carnegie Library Lab.  Delivered by OutputArts.

Suitable for children 8 to 11 plus a carer. Max of 2 children per carer. Please do not bring younger children with you and arrive 10 minutes before the session to secure your place.

 

Venue: Redbridge Central Library, Lab Central 

Date: Saturday 16 February

Time: 1pm to 3pm

Cost and bookings: £3.50 per child, Limited spaces. Book via Eventbrite 

 

Want to find out how to play games without your parents telling you off ?...

The secret: code your own!

By learning how to use Scratch Jr, you’ll have opportunities to make your own interactive stories and games.

You’ll learn important skills such as how to solve problems by using visual icons and reasoning systematically.

This workshop is a great way for children to express their creativity! Suitable for 5 to 7 years.

Venue: Redbridge Central Library, Lab Central

Date: Thursday 21 February

Time: 2pm to 3pm

Price and Bookings: Free, please book in advance at the library. Places are limited.

 

Be proactive in building the future and make a Flower Robot with us this February half term. Learn with your child to engineer together recycling materials and popular electronic components. You will be programming the BBC micro:bit, the tiniest computer ever, and tapping into its inputs and outputs to control an external motor. A jaw-dropping experience when you illuminate your flower with a light! No previous experience necessary.

If you can, please bring with you a big clean and used cardboard cup and other recycling materials of your choice to decorate the petals of your flower robot.

This workshop is part of our “Reuse, Recycle...Robots” project supported by Carnegie Library Lab.  Delivered by OutputArts. Suitable for children 8 to 11 plus a carer. Max of 2 children per carer. Please do not bring younger children with you and arrive 10 minutes before the session to secure your place.

 

Venue: Redbridge Central Library, Lab Central 

Date: Saturday 23 February

Time: 1pm to 3pm

Cost and bookings: £3.50 per child, Limited spaces. Book via Eventbrite 

 

Take part in this practical hands-on activity to invent and put together a Bee Robot this February half term. Revamp recycling materials with super easy to use electronic components. With your child, give it a go at programming the BBC micro:bit, the most affordable computer, and learn to code it to control lights and motors. Be stunned by your own creation, a dancing bee robot within a beehive!

If you can, please bring with you a clean takeaway coffee cup and other recycled materials of your choice to decorate the body and wings of your bee robot. This workshop is part of our “Reuse, Recycle...Robots” project supported by Carnegie Library Lab.  Delivered by OutputArts.

Suitable for children 8 to 11 plus a carer. Max of 2 children per carer. Please do not bring younger children with you and arrive 10 minutes before the session to secure your place.

 

Venue: Redbridge Central Library, Lab Central 

Date: Saturday 2 March

Time: 1pm to 3pm

Cost and bookings: £3.50 per child, Limited spaces. Book via Eventbrite 

 

Come to this course (2 days and a half) and let us introduce you to the joys of ‘Making and Inventing’ with super easy to use electronic components and programming techniques. Create inspirational Robotic Creatures for a special robot wonderland showcase made from discarded items and materials. Creativity + Robotics = Awesome!

You will use the BBC micro:bit to control the Hummingbird Robotic Kit and all its components: motors, servos, LEDs and sensors (light, distance, sound…) to build an Animal Robot of your choice that represents a creature you love from nature. Then programme it to light up, move and react to passers-by, in ways that make it look at home in its Wonderland environment.

No previous experience is necessary but children that know the Hummingbird are welcome to come again to extend their knowledge of robotics. Your Robot Creature will be displayed in the ScrapBot Wonderland showcase to inspire others to reduce their impact on the planet.

If you can, please bring a cardboard box and other recycling materials of your choice to build and decorate your robot. This workshop is part of our “Reuse, Recycle...Robots” project supported by Carnegie UK Trust. Delivered by U Can Too.

Suitable for children 9 to 11, please do not buy tickets for younger children. Your child will be unsupervised at lunchtime and if they need to access the bathroom. Arrive 10 minutes before the session to secure your place.

 

Venue: Redbridge Central Library, Lab Central

Date: Monday 18 to Wed 20 February (you need to attend all the dates)

Time: Monday and Tuesday from 10am to 4pm and Wednesday from 10am to 12:30pm

Cost and bookings: £20 per child, limited spaces. Book via Eventbrite

 

Come along to this hands-on session of basic programming with our cool Code-a-Pillars. By arranging and re-arranging the segments of the caterpillars your children will have fun while learning about directions, sequencing and problem solving. An interactive session to give your child their first taste for coding.

Venue: Redbridge Central Library, Lab Central

Dates and times: Friday 22 March, 10:30am to 11am

Cost and bookings: Free, first come first served (limited spaces available)

 

CodeUp Ilford is a mentoring program for adults who would like to learn how to code for free. Once a month we provide a workspace for people with no programming skills to come and learn the basics, with mentors available to answer your questions and help you on your way.

Our sessions are also suitable for people with basic skills who need support to develop them, and even for people with intermediate or advanced skills who just want to come along to a space where everyone is immersed in code! Please ensure you bring along your own laptop. In case you are not able to bring a laptop,  we have a limited number to provide on a first come first serve basis.

We are also looking for mentors, please check our website for details on how to apply

 

Venue: Redbridge Central Library, Lab Central 

Date: Second Wednesday of the month

Time: 6pm to 7:30pm 

Cost and booking: Free, first come first served

 

 With the support of tech volunteers, children will have the opportunity to learn the basics of coding with easy to follow step-by-step guides by making animations and games. The club is free but spaces are limited. Please book in advance with the library.

We are looking for volunteers with a tech background to help us run these sessions and encourage a new generation of young programmers. Please contact the libraries for details. 

Gants Hill Library

Saturdays, term-time only 

10am to 11am

Goodmayes Library

Saturdays, term-time only
9:45am to 10:45am

Fullwell Cross Library

Saturdays, term-time only 

10am to 11am

Redbridge Central Library

Saturdays, term-time only
10:15am to 11:15am 

Wanstead Library

Saturdays, term-time only
10am to 11am

 

Share your skills

A new generation of children are looking for people like you to show them the magic of experimenting with technology, making your own stuff and learning by doing and sharing.

If you are 14 years old plus, come and volunteer to help us deliver an engaging programme of tech activities at this newly created space. Get in contact by emailing library.information@visionrcl.org.uk  to let us know about your skills.

Use the space

We are in the process of buying equipment to kit this new space and make it as exciting as possible. We will have Raspberry Pi devices, virtual reality technology, digital animation software, robotics and electronics kits, and much more.

Let us know if you would like to run a group at Lab Central focusing on a technical field of your interest. Make us a proposal by emailing library.information@visionrcl.org.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

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