Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



As part of its STEAM program, Molalla Public Library hosted youth 10-18 for build-your-own-spaceship event

Three, two, one…blast off!

As one of its summer events, the Molalla Public Library held a design-your-own-spaceship project for youth ages 10-18 on Wednesday, July 10.

Nearly a dozen youth showed up to utilize the provided supplies and make something unique.

Likewise, all of the library's summer events have been well attended, said Beka Murcray, Molalla's children's librarian.

"From adults to preschoolers, we have had high numbers at all of our programs," Murcray said.

On Wednesday, as the space-themed music played over the speaker in the back room, kids used everything from Legos to K'Nex to cardboard boxes, duct tape and other craft supplies to work on their projects. The result was a diverse collection of spacecraft from tiny to life-sized.

PMG PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - Michael Vedder, who is visiting from out of state, builds a kid-sized spacecraft at Molalla Public Library on July 10.

One participant who was visiting from out of the state, Michael Vedder, created a ship made from cardboard and duct tape. He cut the cardboard in such a way that he was able to climb inside.

But how would he blast off?

He pondered the question and remembered he had planned to make some sort of launch pad. Then, he got to work on it.

According to Murcray, that's just the sort of brainstorming they're hoping kids will do at their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) events.

"These kinds of events ask kids/teens to participate in a 'hands-on and minds-on' type of approach," Murcray said. "They cannot be passive learners in this type of program. Instead, they will be given a problem to solve and will need to use their prior knowledge and creativity to develop a unique answer to the problem."

In addition to brainstorming and problem-solving, laughter and chatter also filled the room because it was just so much fun.

"We have found that the attendance at these types of programs is higher than a presentation-type or class-type of program," Murcray said. "Students today enjoy being involved in the learning process. They love being able to make choices that affect the outcome of their learning and their creations."

The library also held a "Mad Science" event the following day and a jewelry-making workshop for adults on Saturday. Coming up, the library is hosting Pegasus Puppet Theatre, a performing arts group, on Friday, July 26 at 11 a.m.

Kristen Wohlers
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