This summer every nook and cranny of the Mount Gilead Library third floor is taken over for an hour by kids on a mission of exploration and experimentation. They are part of the library’s “STEAM Punks” summer activity and learning program for children ages 6-13.
Program facilitator, Melissa Kipp explained that STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. At the STEAM Punks hour from 1-2 p.m. children are learning by doing hands on experiments. Each week they cover one or more topics and the children are encouraged to ask questions and experience the STEAM subjects without being graded.
Kipp said they begin each session with a bit of background on whatever experiment they are doing that day. They talk about key words and concepts and then introduce the project.
Librarian, Mike Kirk pointed out that the children make different choices in how they go about a project. Some work together with several friends, some work in twos or threes and some prefer to work alone. Some are very successful working independently and others ask for help.
Several teenage volunteer helpers are on hand and a few parents also stay to work with the children to answer questions and help Kipp and the kids finish their projects.
At the end of the session the kids show their creation and they talk about what worked, what didn’t work and why.
STEAM kids parent, Kathleen Griffith said that it’s a great summer activity for children and after they finish a project they also have the opportunity to take a book home.
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