STEMsational Summer at the Library

Photo | Submitted Urbana children built robots out of recycled objects this summer at Urbana Regional Library.

Photo | Submitted
Urbana children built robots out of recycled objects this summer at Urbana Regional Library.

Frederick County Public Libraries’ Summer Reading Program is in full swing, with more than 6,600 kids and teens signed up so far for a summer of reading fun. With our Science-y theme of Fizz, Boom, Read! this year, we have packed as many science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related activities into our calendar as we possibly could. Our STEM programs encourage kids to explore through hands-on activities, experiments, demonstrations and other challenges. Our purpose is to encourage kids to be inspired to pursue further education and possibly a career in these crucial fields.

In partnership with the Fort Detrick Alliance and Bink the Robot, we are offering a chance to pick the brain of a real scientist at two upcoming programs. First, on July 16 at 4 p.m., Dr. Tiziana Cavinato, a biology professor from Hood College, will present “Bones in Space.” Did you know that astronauts lose about 1 percent of their bones per week when they are in space? Kids in grades 1-5 can learn more about this and about how fast their own bones grow and change over time.

In August, Veterinary Pathologist Dr. Louis Huzella will explain during “Backyard Bugs” which insects are your friends and which might be harmful, which can keep your yard healthy and which might damage it. You may register at either of these programs at

Every Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m., kids in elementary and middle school are invited to participate in fun, fast and amazing STEMonstrations — each week is different, so participants learn something new every time. Children are invited to marvel at fun demonstrations that are exciting and educational, and can be duplicated at home with common household products. And if you enjoyed our Build Your Own Robot and Egg Drop Challenges, be sure to enter the Bottle Rocket Challenge on July 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. Challenge your friends and see who can send their rocket the farthest!

If you are more of an engineer, bring your latest building ideas to our LEGO Super Saturdays, every week at 10 a.m.

Don’t forget to check the calendar at for all the activities going on this summer. We have many exciting performers coming in, like Shazam Magic, Flow Circus, Keyote and the Frederick Keys, Milkshake Duo (music) and much more. For more information, call the library at 301.600.7003.

Editor’s Note: Amy Whitney is director of the Urbana Regional Library. She can be reached at or 301.600.7012.


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