Secret Lab Logo

What is the Secret Lab?

The Secret Lab is the AADL’s super-powered programming space for all ages. Packed with enough tools and gadgets to satisfy any need, the Secret Lab is the ideal public space for tinkering, learning, and discovery. Our Lab events are geared towards helping you learn how to develop your own ideas and designs, with the help of the tools and resources in the Lab. We offer both how-to events that will teach you how to use a tool as well as the time and space to practice using your new skills. All experience levels are welcome to join our community. Check out our upcoming events to plan your next trip to the Secret Lab!

Please Contact Us with any questions.

Upcoming Events in the Secret Lab

Preschool ArtStart

Monday August 21, 2017: 10:30 am to 11:00 am -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab and Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for ages 2–5, siblings welcome

Preschoolers can make art, too!

Join us for fun crafts for children age 2 to 5 years, accompanied by an adult.

Fiber Arts Lab: Knitting

Monday August 21, 2017: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Join us every other Monday for an evening of knitting and crochet. We will provide everything you need to get started. Stop in and learn the basics. You can bring a project you've been working on, or just stop by to practice your stitches. We welcome all skill levels, no prior knowledge is necessary.

This week we will focus on knitting.

Ultimate Design Challenge

Tuesday August 22, 2017: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

This event is intended for grade K-5

Join us on several Tuesdays in August in finding creative ways to solve our design challenges.

Materials will be provided and there will be a different challenge each session.

3D Printing Lab: Open Lab

Thursday August 24, 2017: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Learn about 3D printing and get a chance to use a Printrbot Simple Metal 3D printer.

No prior experience is necessary.

Board Game Night

Friday August 25, 2017: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Come enjoy an evening of board games in the Secret Lab! Games available will include: Oregon Trail, Ticket to Ride, Yeti in my Spaghetti, Dominion, Sushi Go, Stratego, Grand Austria Hotel, Space Team, and more.

You are also welcome to bring your own games to play on our sturdy wood workbenches.

Letterpress Open House

Saturday August 26, 2017: 3:45 pm to 5:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

Stop by the Secret Lab to learn about all things letterpress! See how a letterpress works and learn more about the process of printing with moveable type. We'll have AADL's vintage Kelsey letterpresses set up so you'll get the chance to print something neat to take home with you.

This event will follow the Pressing On film screening.

Sewing Lab: Making Patch Pockets w/ Rae Hoekstra

Monday August 28, 2017: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Sewing instructor Rae Hoekstra of Made by Rae will teach a session on how to make a patch pocket that can be used in bags and on clothing!

Join us for an evening of sewing. We will have our lab's machines set up and staff will be on hand to show you the basics. You can bring a project you've been working on, or just stop by to practice your stitches.

We welcome all skill levels, no prior knowledge is necessary. You are free to bring your own sewing machine and join our growing sewing community.

Cubeecraft 3D Figures Papercraft

Tuesday August 29, 2017: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Cut out, fold, and shape paper into 3D characters!

X-acto knives will be used in this craft.

Each character takes approximately 30 minutes to one hour to complete.

Letterpress Lab

Wednesday August 30, 2017: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

Learn the basics of letterpress printing using handset lead type!

Workshop participants will learn how to compose, lock-up, and print a small project on AADL’s vintage Kelsey letterpresses. Letterpress Labs are lead by library staff and guest instructors from U-M's Wolverine Press. Follow along with our scheduled activity or plan your own project—you’re the designer!

This program involves direct handling of lead-based type and is therefore not suitable for small children.

Open Lab

Thursday August 31, 2017: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

During the Game Over Gala stop by the Secret Lab to get familiar with some of AADL's Secret Lab equipment! You might even find some last minute game codes!