COLUMN: Full of STEAM

I constantly find myself wondering how machines function and even how the human body does its job everyday.

Do you ever marvel at the way things work?  I constantly find myself wondering how machines function and even how the human body does its job everyday.

We have a wonderful picture book at the library called ‘That’s How!’ by Christoph Niemann that makes light of these questions.

It depicts the inside of different machines to show how they work, for instance a fire truck actually has an elephant inside squirting water through it’s trunk.

Of course I know that this isn’t how they really work but my brain struggles to comprehend the true mechanics behind things.

We live in a society that is increasingly reliant on technology and correspondingly I am increasingly baffled.

This week is Science Literacy Week and to celebrate the library has a display of the many different science related materials we have.

I feel no shame in admitting that I would have no luck trying to plow through a book designed for adults on say physics or geology.

Luckily we have an extensive collection of junior and young adult titles on almost every subject you can imagine.

I love being able to see the information I need laid out clearly and concisely and have things explained in a way I can understand.

Gone are the days of dusty, boring textbooks full of unpronounceable names.

Everyone is now able to learn about the way things work in a fun, accessible way through play and engaging books.

Some of the favourites at my house have included ‘Zombies and Forces and Motion’ by Mark Weakland because seriously who doesn’t want to learn about physics from zombies.

If you want to be a little more hands on then there are two great titles that are full of fun experiments to do at home “Maker Lab’ by Jack Challoner and ‘The Curious Kids Science Book’ by Asia Citro.  Both had me itching to break out my lab coat and goggles.

Coming up next week we have a special fall Storytime in Space for pre-schoolers aged three to five.

An astronaut on the International Space Station will be reading us a book and there’ll be space related questions and activities.

Next week also sees the start of our Full of STEAM After School Club.

Thursday afternoons beginning at 3:15 p.m., we’re inviting kids from Grade 4 and up to join us each week for games and activities such as Lego and building with Keva.

STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

We’ll explore cool books and have different stations that allow everyone to let their imaginations fly.

Science may seem daunting for some but it doesn’t have to be, in fact I’m learning it can be a whole lot of fun.

Adele Meadow is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland branch and practicing “science nerd”.