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Please DO Touch! Brookwood Library’s Dazzling “Everbright” Lightwall
The preschool kids touring Brookwood Library couldn’t keep their hands to themselves.
When they got to the new Everbright machine, mounted at kid-eye-level, the four- and five-year-olds stopped, turned the dials, and filled the air with exclamations of “Whoa!” “Wow!” and “This is so cool!”
That, of course, was the plan all along.
Everbright’s lightwall grid — hundreds of chunky dials illuminated from within by LEDs— is irresistible by design. Twist a dial a little and its color shifts a bit. Give it a big turn and the color changes completely.
Work alone or, better yet, in groups, and manipulate all the dials to create patterns, experiment with tones, or just play with some new friends. When you’re done, click a switch and the display resets to black or an engrossing, pre-programmed animation pattern.
Located in the Elementary Lounge on Brookwood Library’s main floor, Everbright is not just for kids. The technology, from Oakland, California-based Hero Design, is interactive and fun for all ages and cultures. It’s so engaging that the area in front of the installation has become a popular gathering place, perfect for impromptu, open-ended play dates.
That play also comes with a purpose. Everbright helps teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) concepts, and Brookwood Library staff plan to incorporate Everbright into upcoming STEAM classes and activities.
Everbright encourages all kinds of play — imaginative, cooperative, and individual — and gets adults in on the process. It even encourages early literacy.
“Families that read, write, talk, sing, and play together help their children get ready to learn to read,” says Librarian Supervisor Dawn Borgardt. “Not only does that interactive play help kids get ready to read, it teaches them important social, emotional, and relational skills, too.”
Here are some ideas to try during your next visit to Brookwood Library’s Everbright lightwall:
- Make a circle, square, and triangle.
- Create a pattern using just two or three colors.
- Find all the tones in one color. Then, make a pattern with just those tones.
- Team up with a friend and create a picture with as many colors as possible.
- Just play, and have fun.