Ahmed Mohamed, 14

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was arrested after bringing a homemade clock to his Texas school.

Inspired by 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed – arrested after bringing a homemade clock to his Texas school, resulting in invitations to the White House and Massachusetts Institute of Technology – the Cambridge Public Library invites kids ages 10 to 18 to a workshop and learn to build their own clocks.

Workshop attendees will learn what is inside a clock and build circuits with the library’s littleBits kits, a simple open-source system of modular components.

“Science and technology are the currency of our city. We’re thrilled to offer this opportunity to our budding tinkerers,” director of libraries Susan Flannery said.

After the workshops, the kits will be available for in-library use as a part of the permanent children’s collection.

Communications librarian Luke Kirkland, programming coordinator Marilyn Gagalis and manager of youth services Julie Roach said they conceived of the idea as an opportunity to add science-based tools to the permanent collection and engage the community in a dialogue about diversity, education and innovation. The activities were developed in partnership with Lesley Steam, a Lesley University program, with help from the Cambridge El Steam Network and vice mayor Dennis Benzan. Rahul Bhargava from MIT’s Center for Civic Media will be a guest educator.

“Public libraries are the perfect place to introduce kids and adults of all backgrounds to inventive, playful education environments. Providing free access to tools like littleBits empowers our users to experiment with the technologies that define their world,” Kirkland said.

The workshop is 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 24 at Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Registration is open, but space is limited. To sign up, contact Luke Kirkland at [email protected] or (857) 235-9853.


This post took significant amounts of material from a press release.