By Melissa Minsker
Summer in Urbana’s Regional Library is always exciting, but this summer promises to be especially entertaining. In addition to its new summer reading program – Summer of Wonder – Frederick County Public Libraries is also gearing up to open three new STEM Labs. The Urbana Library will celebrate the grand opening of its very own STEM Lab on June 18.
What is a STEM Lab? Well, it’s a collection of gadgets, toys, technology, games and equipment that encourage children of all ages to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The Urbana Library STEM Lab will open its doors for the first time at noon on June 18. Everyone is invited to join us for a day of celebrations. Starting at 11 a.m., we’ll be hosting our Second Annual Eggcellent Egg Drop Contest. Participants are invited to create their own design for a full-proof “egg protection device” and then test it out to see if their egg will still be intact after a fall from the upper levels of the library! The ribbon cutting for the STEM Lab will occur at noon and then everyone is invited to try out all the exciting new materials as well as to create a fun, STEM-related craft. The STEM Lab will be open on June 18 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Community Room.
Starting July 1, the Urbana Library STEM Lab will hold Open Hours Drop-In Play on Wednesdays in the Community Room from 3 to 5 p.m. Children of all ages (preschool-18) are invited to stop by and enjoy playing and exploring items belonging to the STEM Lab. Staff will be on hand to help out and answer questions.
Perhaps one of the most exciting items belonging to the Urbana Library STEM Lab is a Cube 3D Printer. This spring, FCPL learned that it won a statewide grant of four Cube 3D printers for use in its regional STEM Labs. According to the FCPL press release, “three-dimensional printers encourage children to use their imaginations as they design an object that comes to life via a three-dimensional design. Children feed the design into a computer via a digital file, select the materials for the object and watch as that object is produced right before their eyes.”
As if that weren’t enough, families are also invited to begin registering for summer reading on May 1. This year, for the first time, the entire family can get in on the fun as FCPL has announced it will include an adult component in the program. We hope you’ll join us in reading and learning all summer long (May 1 to Aug. 31). As usual, the Urbana Library will host a series of exciting performers and programs and everyone can win prizes by reading and learning along with us!
For more information about the STEM Lab, Summer of Wonder, or any other library programs or services, call the library at 301.600.7003 or visit us at www.fcpl.org.
Editor’s Note: Melissa Minsker is the Children’s Services Supervisor for Urbana Regional Library.