Catawba County News
Upcoming STEAM for Kids
September 11, 2018
The concepts of STEAM learning offer children a hands-on approach to discovering new information, letting them problem-solve through exploration and curiosity, and encouraging them to find connections among engineering, arts, and so on. It’s an integrated, often self-directed method that delights in breakthroughs and epiphanies during the process.
The Library finds great value in this technique, and many of the sessions we offer cultivate an environment in which children can test, examine, consider, and hypothesize. It’s a way to nurture a love of education and to provoke a desire for lifelong, individually generated learning.
This coming week, we’re presenting a wealth of opportunities for children to hunker down and dig in to various concepts that are ripe for investigation.
• The first is ViperCard computer programming. Back in the 1980s, an Apple program called HyperCard was created to help demystify coding and was intended to be programming software for non-programmers. It was discontinued in the early 1990s but has maintained its appeal in certain circles for years. Now, it has been resurrected in intention and feel as ViperCard. Essentially, the software works to remove obstacles from programming so that it’s a much more democratic task. Folks can use it to create games, cartoons, animation, and interactive art, getting a sense of what programming could be if it were integrated more into the everyday world.
The Library’s session will offer an introduction to the software and teach basics so that computer programming becomes a more accessible prospect. If you or your child would like to attend, the class meets Monday, September 17 at 6 pm at the St. Stephens Branch Library. It’s intended for ages 8+.
• Our second STEAM course examines apples and our five senses through a series of practical experiences. We’ll introduce children to a variety of apples, looking at different colors, levels of firmness, and degrees of sweetness. Participants will use their senses to distinguish among the specific varieties and will follow that up by testing their knowledge in a blind taste test.
To participate in this class, join us at the Maiden Branch Library on Wednesday, September 19 at 4 pm.
• Our other STEAM occasions feature the Library’s construction zone areas. These building sets encourage children to play and manipulate their environments for specific purposes, and it invites them to work together to fulfill tasks.
Elementary-aged children will gather at 3:30 pm on Friday, September 21 at the Southwest Branch Library to create their own marble runs. This project involves setting up courses for marbles to follow and do everything from drop into cups, flip levers, change direction, and provoke a series of movements. Children can use a variety of materials to construct these marble runs, and they’re expected to tap into their creativity to make something spectacular.
Toddlers and young children are given their own construction zone time at 11 am on Saturday, September 22 at the Southwest Library as they tackle the task of erecting bridges and towers. The project isn’t just an aesthetic one, though; kids will be expected to build sturdy, weight-bearing edifices that can stand up to the forces of compression and tension – even if those terms aren’t used explicitly! The goal is to put their thinking to the test in a useful experiment of autonomy and trial-and-error discovery.