St. Joe County Public Library hopes to inspire kids through ‘STEAM Labs’

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 12:08 PM EST
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - If you’re looking for some fun afternoon activities for your kids, a great place to start is always at your local library.

16 News Now recently had an opportunity to hang out with some of the kids who attended a “STEAM Lab” at the St. Joe County Public Library’s Western Branch in South Bend.

Melody Lutz from the St. Joe County Public Library is teaching more than just engineering at these labs, which allow kids to have fun while learning.

“Once a month, we come out to every branch in our library system, and we do science and technology activities with the kids,” Lutz said.

At the lab 16 News Now attended, the activities followed a theme and were based on scientists featured in the book “Hidden Figures.”

“We had a wind tunnel experiment that was inspired by Mary Jackson, we had a space capsule landing experiment inspired by Katherine Johnson, and we had a binary code bracelet inspired by Dorothy Vaughan,” Lutz said.

Lutz believes that an early exposure to STEAM could open the opportunity to greater opportunities for kids.

“They might try something new that they never considered before, and it might spark a passion or hobby, or even an interest in starting a career in these fields,” Lutz said.

This spark is something that students like Sarah have already found through STEAM.

“I really want to do a lot of things, and I think it would be really fun to just be a coder and have to program computers,” she said.

“I hope the kids who are here today had fun, and I hope they enjoyed themselves,” Lutz said. “I hope that today’s experience is one they will never forget and will cherish and hold on to. And I hope it makes them want to come back to the library, and I hope it inspired them to learn.”

The St. Joe County Public Library is hosting three STEAM labs this week at the following locations and times:

  • Centre Township Branch (Tuesday, March 7, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • LaSalle Branch (Wednesday, March 8, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Lakeville Branch (Thursday, March 9, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

For more information on upcoming events at the St. Joe County Public Library, click here.