October STEAM underway, two more sessions this month

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

For those that have kids in their life that love science and robots October STEAM sessions are underway at the Invermere Public Library. With the first session starting yesterday, Oct. 5 there will be two more later this month on Oct. 20 and 26 from 3:30 to 4:30. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math and is a type of programming the library has offered for years when scheduling allowed but was impacted by restrictions on indoor programming during the pandemic.  Since May of this year STEAM has become a regular program offered at the library with a short break over the July and August where the Summer Reading Club took its place.

“Our STEAM programming has been ongoing for many years,” said Blair McFarlane, Community Outreach Programmer at Invermere Public Library. “Sometimes it’s building challenges out of recycled material, or playing a banana piano, and sometimes it’s playing with and coding our robots. We know science, technology, engineering, art, and math are all important areas of skill for kids to develop, and we are lucky enough to have lots of cool tech, like our robots, for kids to access for free.”

September had four STEAM sessions but due to some staff being away on holidays there are only three sessions being offered in October. McFarlane shares these hour sessions have been very popular and will continue through November as well. This program suitable for ages four and up, but for those six and under must be accompanied by a parent. Not only is this hour of fun a great way to build friendhips kids can also use their imagination to create and build using Keva wooden tiles and Magnatiles. For those that think robots are rad, there are Ozobots that follow a line kids draw with a marker and can be coded using certain colour sequences.

“We also have three Dash robots from Wonder Workshop which are controlled though an iPad and Scratch tutorials where kids learn the skills to build their own video game,” said McFarlane. “STEAM is a great after school transition period where kids can get together, learn some basic coding, and have fun!”