Category : Teens

Gwinnett Libraries bring Learning alive!

Thanks to a generous donation from the Atlanta Retailers Association (ARA) that was matched by the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, Alive Studios is equipping all 15 Gwinnett County Public Library branches with its evidence-based Learning alive™ kits.

Alive Studios is a Gwinnett-based software developer that creates mind-boggling learning experiences to increase student engagement and improve early literacy. Students are motivated and inspired as they interact with 26 virtual zoo animals while learning the essential fundamentals of reading and math. Alive Studios’ programs use a technology called augmented reality (3D without glasses) to bring lessons to life. The learning kits are currently being used in more than 3,500 classrooms around the country.

“We’re very excited to be the first public library in the country to roll out this program,” said Shelly Schwerzler, the development manager at Gwinnett County Public Library. The library system plans to make this highly engaging learning experience available to children all around Gwinnett. “Our youth services team will be incorporating this new way to learn about letters, words, and sentences into our existing early literacy programs,” Schwerzler added.   

The Learning alive Plus kit that will be donated to each library branch includes 26 letter cards, 97 sight-word cards, and 84 word-family cards. Each card is interactive and triggers multiple 3D animations depending on the word or sentence that is created. While learning to identify and sound out each letter, children are able to hear, see, touch, build, and speak throughout the lesson. This multimodal approach appeals to a broad range of learning styles and abilities, increases long-term retention, and is especially effective with at-risk students  and English language learners. Also included are three Interactive Stories and a full, supplemental math program aligned to state standards for kindergarten.

“We are so thrilled to partner with Gwinnett County Public Library and have Learning alive available to so many children around Gwinnett,” said Cynthia Kaye, Alive Studios’ CEO and Chief Zoo Keeper. “What a generous gift from the ARA and Community Foundation!”

Library staff will be installing the learning kits this summer and will receive training on how best to use the reading and math supplemental curricula within their programs. “Our plan is to introduce Learning alive in a couple of our summer programs and then do a full rollout this fall for back-to-school,” said Schwerzler. “We will be using an online assessment tool to monitor the program’s effectiveness and to help us provide the best service for our community.”

8 Amazing Products Made With a 3D Printer

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

Did you know you can print a house? What about a car? It can be printed and purchased for only $10,000!

Since Chuck Hull made the 3D printer, innovators all over the world have created incredible items.

Here are eight amazing products made with a 3D printer:

1. Prosthetic Beak

Tieta the Toucan has been rescued from an animal fair with a broken upper beak. Designers have printed a 3D prosthetic beak for Tieta so she can properly eat again.

2. Prosthetic Arm

Ben Ryan has 3D printed an arm for his son after his original arm was amputated. Since then, Ryan has established Ambionics, a company helping disabled children in similar situations.

3. High Heels

Former fashion student Pauline van Dongen created 3D printed heels for her fashion show project Morphogenesis.

4. Cast

Don’t want to deal with the itchy issues wearing a traditional cast? Patients now have the option to wear the 3D printed Cortex Cast. Price ranges from $200 to $500.

5. Bikini

The 3D printed N12 waterproof bikinis are made from waterproof nylon. You can find them at the Consortium store.

6. House

Startup company Agis Cor has completed a 400 square 3D printed house in 24 hours. Price: $10,134.

7. Apartment

China has taken 3D printing to the next level creating a five-story apartment. WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. printed the building from recyclable material and leftover industry material.

8. Pizza

NASA has given the 3D printing company BeeHex a grant to design a 3D printing machine for hungry astronauts, especially those headed to Mars. Beehex made Chef 3D to make pizzas. There are talks for an app for customers to select their pizza toppings and design.

Inspired to create the next 3D product? Look out for these 3D printing events coming to a branch near you:

-3D Design with TinkerCad
-3D Printing 101 & 102
-3D Printing Fashion Accessories
-Teen Hydraulic 3D Food Printer

Solve Tricky Math Problems With These Sites

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

Ready to get better at math? You’re in luck!

GCPL provides many sites for solving tricky math problems. The sites below are categorized in the Digital Resource page by Homework Help categories: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School.

Here are some sample topics you’ll find within a few of the websites:

1. Homework Help: Elementary School

Site: Study Jams
-Data Analysis

Site: Math Playground
-Geometry and graphs
-Telling time

2. Homework Help: Middle School

Site: Web Math
-Complex numbers
-The Metric System

3. Homework Help: High School

Site: Math Planet
-Algebra I and II
-SAT and ACT

Site: Khan Academy
-AP Statistics
-AP Calculus AB and BC

Check out more valuable math resources and books for extra help!

New Driving Law in Georgia

Submitted by Jon Freeman

A bill known as the “Hands Free Law” was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and then signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on May 2, 2018. The Hands Free Law will take effect on July 1, 2018. Links to websites with more detailed information about this law can be found at the end of this article. The following is a brief description of what the law states and some frequently asked questions from the Hands Free Law webpage of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia:

1. A driver cannot have a phone in their hand or use any part of their body to support their phone. Drivers can only use their phones to make or receive phone calls by using speakerphone, earpiece, wireless headphone, phone is connected to vehicle or an electronic watch. GPS navigation devices are allowed.
2. Headsets and earpieces can only be worn for communication purposes and not for listening to music or other entertainment.
3. A driver may not send or read any text-based communication unless using voice-based communication that automatically converts message to a written text or is being used for navigation or GPS
4. A driver may not write, send or read any text messages, e-mails, social media or internet data content
5. A driver may not watch a video unless it is for navigation.
6. A driver may not record a video (continuously running dash cams are exempt)
7. Music streaming apps can be used provided the driver activates and programs them when they are parked. Drivers cannot touch their phones to do anything to their music apps when they are on the road. Music streaming apps that include video also are not allowed since drivers cannot watch videos when on the road. Drivers can listen to and program music streaming apps that are connected to and controlled through their vehicle’s radio.


1. Reporting a traffic crash, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity or hazardous road conditions.
2. An employee or contractor of an utility service provider acting within the scope of their employment while responding to an utility emergency.
3. A first responder (law enforcement, fire, EMS) during the performance of their official duties.
4. When in a lawfully parked vehicle—this DOES NOT include vehicles stopped for traffic signals and stop signs on the public roadway.


When the Hands-Free law takes effect July 1, the Georgia Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement have the option to issue warnings for violations as part of the effort to educate and to help motorists adapt to the new law. However, citations can and will be issued starting July 1 for any violation of the Hands-Free Law, including those where the violation involves a traffic crash. There is not a 90-day grace period provision in the Hands-Free Law.

For more information about the new Georgia Hands Free Law feel free to take a look at the following websites:

Georgia Highway Safety

Heads Up Georgia

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Georgia Department of Driver Services

How to Find New Books in the GCPL Catalog

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

Everything may seem overwhelming to you with all the changes on the GCPL website. All you want probably is the latest James Patterson or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.

To make things easier for you, here are two methods how you can find new books on the GCPL catalog.

Method 1: “From the Catalog”
1. On GCPL’s main site, click on “catalog” located on the top right corner of your screen.
2. Click on the “What’s New” tab. The following selections will show up:
-Coming Attractions
-New Adult Books
-New Books on CD
-New Digital Titles
-New DVDs
-New Kids Books
-New Large Print
-New Teen Titles
-NY Times Bestsellers
3. Click on your desired selection.

Method 2: “Browse Menu
1. Find the “Filter your results by…” selection on the left side of your screen.
2. Click on the “New at the Library” tab. There you have a selection of the past days to choose from: 7, 30, 60, 90, 180, and over 180 days.
3. Choose your desired results.

Extra tip: Click on “Published Date” for books published on a specific year under the “Filter your results by…” area.

Need further assistance? Feel free to call us, stop by your closest GCPL location or contact us via the “Ask Box” chatbox on our website.

GCPL Expands Genealogy Resources with New Databases

Gwinnett County residents searching for long-lost relatives have new resources available to them through the Library. Gwinnett County Public Library added Findmypast, Fold3 and Gale Genealogy Connect to their genealogy catalog which already includes Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest.

Findmypast is one of the leading suppliers of online family history records, currently offering access to a collection of over 2 billion historical records covering the United States, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the globe.

Fold3 features premier collections of original military records. These records include the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served in the military, courtesy of the U.S. National Archives, The National Archives of U.K., and many other sources.

Gale Genealogy Connect features a wide range of comprehensive references and is powered by authoritative information from With these unique references, available for the first time online in fully searchable format, users can confidently connect the dots with authoritative contextual information, where the full story lives.

“It is especially meaningful to offer new genealogy resources as we celebrate Gwinnett County’s bicentennial this year,” says Charles Pace, GCPL’s Executive Director. “We hope this celebration encourages Gwinnettians to trace their roots and explore their past with help from the Library. ​We also appreciate the financial support from the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners to expand our genealogy resources.”

Ancestry Library Edition and Findmypast are only available within the library. All other resources can be accessed by library card holders from home.

8 Books for Aspiring Millennial Entrepreneurs

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

According to the Pew Research Center, millennials (ages 25-35) are more likely to still live with their parents. Student debt, expensive housing, and unreliable wages force millennials to think twice before leaving home. Are you one of them? Don’t worry, there’s hope.

Millennials are finding financial success through entrepreneurship. This BNP Paribas Entrepreneur Report reveals millennials are starting more businesses than baby boomers. Millennials are the ones behind Pinterest, Quora, and Airbnb.

If you’re going down the entrepreneur path, here are eight books for aspiring millennial entrepreneurs like you:

1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
2. The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone
3. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
4. The Entrepreneur’s Playbook by Leonard C. Green
5. Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
6. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
7. The Power of Broke by Daymond John
8. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Additional entrepreneur education can be found on Lynda! You have access to hundreds of business-related courses free with your GCPL card.

Don’t have one? Sign up today!

How to Make Successful Compost

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

Looking forward to a healthy harvest? Make your own natural compost for an extra boost! All you need is your kitchen scraps and more to get started.

Here’s how to make successful compost:

1. Plan stationary or rotating compost

There are two ways of making compost: Stationary and rotating. Stationary compost is set in one pile in your garden area. Make sure you build a fence around it or keep it in a ventilated container from pesky critters.

Rotating compost is set in a tumbler . Not only animals won’t be able to mess with it, it’ll be easier to mix up to keep it fresh. With a stationary compost, you must mix it with a shovel or a garden fork.

2. Gather the right compost ingredients

“Green” and “brown” are two types of ingredients used to make compost.

Examples of “green” ingredients include:
-Grass and hedge clippings
-Vegetable/fruit scraps

Examples of “brown ingredients:
-Peat moss
-Old newspapers
-Cardboard (not dyed)

Don’t add these ingredients to your compost or you’ll wind up with an unhealthy heap:
-Dairy products
-Pet waste
-Sickly plants
-Animal bones

Check out this extensive site for more acceptable compost materials.

3. Check your compost weekly

Is your compost slimy? Add more “brown” compost ingredients to the mix. If it doesn’t look like it’s breaking down at any point, add more “green” to it. You can add red wiggler worms to expedite the breakdown process further.

4. Compost is ready!

Your compost should ready to use when the ingredients are entirely broken down and has an earthy scent to it.

For further information on compost, read Chris McLaughlin’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Composting and watch The Perfect Compost DVD.

Many garden programs happening in GCPL. Find the right one for you in our calendar!

The Right Way to Remove a Tick

School is over and the weather is set for kids and adults to spend a lot more time outside this season. Unfortunately, that also means it is tick season. It’s tough to say how dire any given tick season will be, but if you find a tick on yourself or someone else, don’t panic! Consumer Reports says to use these steps for removing a tick:

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  • Once you have a firm grasp, pull upward with steady, even force. Don’t twist or jerk the tick because you might cause its mouth to break off and remain in the skin.
  • If you do accidentally break the tick in half, try removing the mouth with the tweezers. If you can’t, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  • You can dispose of the tick in one of several ways: submerse it in alcohol, place it in a sealed bag or container, wrap it tightly in tape, or flush it down the toilet. (Never handle a tick with your bare fingers; pathogens called spirochetes can pass from the tick to you through even tiny breaks in your skin.)
  • Once the tick is disposed of, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  • Check the bite area for several weeks after removal. If you develop a rash there (or have a fever at any point in that time frame), see a doctor about getting tested for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

For more information on what to do and what not to do when dealing with ticks feel free to read an article on this topic from Consumer Reports by clicking HERE.

9 Tips for an Awesome Disney Trip

Submitted by Alexandria Ducksworth

There’s no better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than a magical Disney adventure. Before you throw your luggage in the car and hit the road, here are 9 tips for an awesome Disney trip.

1. Make sure to purchase Magic Bands for you and your family.

Use these wristbands to gain park access and FastPass access to any Disney ride.
Disney Magic Bands

2. Download the My Disney Experience app to check ride waiting times and purchase Disney merchandise.

Stuck in line craving a dole whip? You can use the app for its Mobile Order services. Select a meal from your chosen location and pick it up at the quick Mobile Order line.
My Disney Experience App

3. If you’re planning to visit Disney World more than once a year, research the Disney Annual Passes.

Passholders receive discount benefits on rides and hotel rooms.
Disney Parks Annual Passes

4. Are you an AAA member? Members receive Disney hotel room discounts too!

AAA Disney Discounts

5. Going grocery shopping while you’re at Disney? Make sure you rent a mini-fridge for your hotel room.

Grocery Delivery Services

6. Find the hottest Disney ticket discounts on Undercover Tourist.

Undercover Tourist Discounts

7. Arrived at your Disney resort early? No worries! Hotel services will hold your luggage hours before your official check-in time.

Moms Panel: Baggage Services

8. Toy Story Land will open this summer! Make sure your reserve your FastPass access to the latest Disney attraction.

Toy Story Land: Coming Summer 2018

9. Don’t forget to check out our library’s copy of Birnbaum’s 2018 Walt Disney World and our Disney Parks DVDs.

Birnbaum’s 2018 Walt Disney World and Walt Disney World Resort: Behind the Scenes