New programs bring education philosophy to the library

Arjun Dutta with his Lego creation.

Are you a Heights parent with a budding engineer or mathematician in the family? If so, the library has programs that may pique your child's interest. Saturday, March 21 at 2:30 p.m. is STEAM Saturday at the Noble Neighborhood Library, and Tuesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. is Kid Engineering at the University Heights Library.

STEAM Saturday is based on the new philosophy in many schools of focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. The theory is based on the idea that encouraging American students to focus on these core areas will foster innovation and make them more competitive and successful as adults, which will in turn continue to keep America competitive on a global scale.

STEAM was originally STEM (with no A for art), but art and design were added with the idea that they can help support engagement and creativity, and enhance a student's understanding.

“It makes sense that more and more libraries are offering this type of programming. As an informal place of learning, it's important that libraries are paying attention to trends in education and sharing that with the community,” said Mary Looby, youth services librarian at the Noble Neighborhood Library. “STEAM Saturday is a bit more of a laid-back exploration of topics as a supplement to what kids may have encountered at school. And for libraries, using art is an easy entry point to exploring new topics because we already do a lot of craft- and art-based activities.”

Pam Spangler at the University Heights Library leads Kid Engineering. “I want kids to realize that engineering is fun. You don’t need to know all the math to try it out. When I was a kid everyone had Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, and I don’t know if kids really have those any more. I also wanted to show parents that they can have fun with their kids without spending a lot of money," she said.

Julia Murphy

Julia Murphy is the marketing assistant for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 10:41 AM, 02.27.2015