Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Effort aims to educate youth about spatial awareness and block coding through an accessible kit. 

Starting Sunday, Jan. 30, the West Linn Public Library will give away coding kits for K-5 students.

The library has hosted the coding kit giveaway since 2020 and started it because coding ties nicely with curriculum and increases accessibility for students who do not have a tablet or computer at home, said Caitrin Lenartz, emerging technologies librarian.

"I thought it would be valuable to offer them this kind of activity at the library, especially for kids who didn't have access to this sort of technology at home," Lenartz said.

The library purchased the kits through a grant supported by the CARES Act, a federal COVID-19 relief bill that passed last year. The kit introduces students to block coding through a paper worksheet. The Ozobot Evo coding robots use the color code method to solve puzzles and play games, and the activities grow more challenging.

Each kit comes with a charging cable for the robot and instructions to access the Ozobot website.

"The kits give the opportunity for students to learn spatial awareness, because a lot of the activities have to do with control. But in addition to that, it's really become integral to learn the language of coding — because (coding) is unlikely to change. You're going to be using the same principles where you will have the problem," Lenartz said. "Coding is not really a step by step, it's kind of a trial and error. So I think kids learning to think in that way is really valuable to them."

Community members will have two other chances to snag a kit on Feb. 27 and April 17. Families must register for a coding kit on the library's website.

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