Tech-related activities and resources help make learning fun
Published on May 16, 2023
A small group of children are crowded around a small, blue molded-plastic blob. It’s darting and dashing across the floor, its movements directed via an iPad. Though just a simple robot, the little guy is just one way the Fort Worth Public Library is making technology accessible to people of all ages.
The acronym “STEAM” stands for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. The term describes a wide range of resources and activities at the Library that are designed to reduce barriers to technology and offer services outside of its buildings. For children, activities enrich out-of-school time and make learning fun and enjoyable.
Fun learning activities
The Library offers a variety of educational activities for children, teens and families to enjoy. The goal is simple: provide a fun, hands-on learning experience to help foster a love of learning.
Programs like Full STEAM Ahead offer children (Grades K-5) an opportunity to explore and learn new concepts through simple projects like making a homemade spectroscope and creating slime that changes in the sunlight. Tweens and teens can participate in Teen STEAM, which offers the same idea as Full STEAM Ahead with more advanced—but still fun—projects.
For the future engineers, what better way to build a love of learning than with LEGO® building blocks? Multiple library locations offer a Brick Builders program, which invites children to put on their thinking caps and follow guided group projects using colorful blocks.
Families that learn together, grow together. Every month, Family Science Nights offer parents/caregivers an opportunity to work alongside their children to learn a new science concept. In May, participants will take on an out-of-this world space challenge. This monthly program is offered at multiple library locations.
The Library offers 3D printers for free public use. As a people-centered, community-focused organization, the Library is proud to be a partner in education and prides itself on providing residents access to new and exciting technologies and resources. In fact, today 17 of the Library’s 18 locations are home to a 3D printer.
“3D printers give young learners exposure to a new technology and is a stepping stone for deeper learning,” said Christina Granados, the Fort Worth Public Library’s teen program coordinator.
A great introduction to the world of 3D printing is the Library’s 3D Printing Basics. Participants become familiar with a 3D printer, applications, materials and more! For the more advanced, try the 3D Design class to learn how to create your own computer-aided design (CAD) files to print.
Tech to take home
With a Fort Worth Public Library card, access to technology extends beyond the limits of an in-person visit with the library’s take-home tech possibilities.
Cardholders can check out and take home laptops with built-in cell service and Wi-Fi as well as pre-installed Microsoft Office suite software. If access to reliable internet is an issue, cardholders can also check out Wi-Fi hotspots for three weeks at a time.
Not just for the adults, families are also encouraged to explore and tinker with technology with the library’s take-home robotics kits. These kits launch children into the world of coding and robots with simple, rewarding projects. Parents might find themselves having more fun than their children.
Families can also check out STEAM kits. These kits contain a collection of age-appropriate activities and hands-on tools covering a variety of subjects guaranteed to spark curiosity. Subjects include the world of colors, food and nutrition, the universe, green energy and more!