By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK– The Metropolitan Library System has developed a variety of summer STEAM programs for all ages including some programs hosted by the Science Museum of Oklahoma.
The programs highlight technology-based learning to help equip children and teens with the knowledge they need to cultivate key problem-solving skills.
STEAM programs focus on areas including Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.
“We have some unique new STEAM programs this summer to get the whole family diving in and learning,” said Emily Williams, system wide teen services manager. “Parents can also help prepare their children for the next school year by keeping them engaged in learning throughout the summer.”
Summer programs at the library cover more than reading skills, which can prevent children from losing the knowledge they gained throughout the school year. Young people who don’t participate in educational activities during the summer experience learning loss, resulting in the loss of more than two months of math skills and reading achievement, according to the American Library Association.
STEAM programs focus on areas of high employment in the United States,. and particularly in Oklahoma. Occupations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) make up over 6 percent of all occupations in the U.S.
Workers in these fields earn higher wages, and degree holders in STEM fields earn 12 percent more than non-STEM degree holders, according to a March 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oklahoma has seen a 24 percent uptake in STEM employment since 2016, compared to the national STEM employment growth rate of 10 percent.
Summer STEAM programs include:
• Code and Go Mouse: Engage in the game of programing an electronic mouse to find his way to the cheese while learning new coding and computer programing skills.
• Breakout! Escape Room: Using a special escape room kit, put logic, reasoning and puzzle-solving skills to the test to escape.
• Paper Circuits: Make something unique with paper while learning about electricity and conductivity.
• Duct Tape Creations: Create decorations, wearable crafts and more using duct tape.
• Sounds of Science: A demonstration of the role sound and music play in the world, presented by the Oklahoma Science Museum. Registration required.
• Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Get up-close and hands on with beasts from the magical world, presented by the Science Museum of Oklahoma. Registration required.
• Aroma as a Soundtrack to Our Lives: Discover how smells can lead the brain to memory by engaging in different scent-based activities.
• Coloring for Adults: Engage in artistic expression, improve self-awareness, reduce anxiety and foster self-esteem and social skills through coloring.
• Raspberry Pi: Use Raspberry Pi, single-board computers, to develop coding and programming skills.
• Soldering: Learn to use soldering tools and create something unique.
On Tuesday, July 3, a Total Wellness with OCCHD (OKC-County Health Department) workshop will be held from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at the Ron Norick Downtown Library.
This program provides free interactive weight loss classes for Oklahoma County residents to help prevent diabetes and heart disease. Classes meet one hour every week for eight weeks with a goal of participants losing 5 percent of their body weight and being more active. To enroll, call 405-425-4422.
The Metropolitan Library System includes 19 library branch locations, the largest library system in the state.
“We welcome you to join us this summer for coding and programming, escape rooms, entering the fantastical world of Harry Potter, crafts and other learning opportunities,” said Victoria Stephens, MLS Internal Communications Coordinator.
For specific event locations, dates and times of each course, visit metrolibrary.org and click on events.