News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Scio Library offers First Friday STEM

First Fridays offer Scio students a bundle of fun!

The Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub, a regional public/private partnership, is teaming with the Scio Public Library to host Mobile Makerspace events on the first Friday of every month. The program is geared toward students ages 6-12 through the end of the school year. 

On Dec. 2 at the Scio Public Library, Mid-Valley will entice students with a project suited for Computer Science Week, which runs from Dec. 5 – 11.

The project kicked-off on Friday, Nov. 4 to commemorate National STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) Day at which students learned how a simple battery circuit can turn on an LED light.

“We had a fun time at the STEM activity at the Scio Library,” said Lorraine Blatter. “The kids got to use their imagination and create critters using plastic eggs to put the lights on.”

Blatter’s son Gabe is a second grader at Willamette Connections Academy, an online public school that has a charter with the Scio School District. The tuition-free school encourages students to engage in a variety of socialization activities including those in the community, according to WCA officials. 

“Gabe was able to see quite a few friends from our community who participate in non-traditional schooling options,” Blatter said. “These kids can get together and have the opportunity to grow their friendships and their minds.”

The Blatter family enjoys the flexibility the virtual school gives them to explore educational opportunities like the library program. 

“Online school is the reason we can participate in customized educational opportunities like this,” Blatter said. 

“It also extends Gabe’s education by allowing us to incorporate outdoor exploration, historical venues, traveling to learn about people, places and things near and far, and plenty of family time. There’s no better way to learn than actually applying what you learn in your day-to-day life and online school gives us the balance to do just that.”

The upcoming STEM Mobile Makerspace event starts at 9 a.m. at the library. Organizers plan a special project to help kids make Binary Coding Bracelets using Pony beads. 

Small hands-on programmable robots designed for younger students, called Bee-Bots and Edisons, will also be available for participants to experiment with. Contact the library for registration information. 

The Scio Library has other activities going on over the holidays, including the weekly story time, 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday mornings, geared for young children up to age 7. In addition, watch for a special Gingerbread decorating contest for younger kids. Contestants can bring their works of art to the library and win “People’s Choice Awards” after residents have voted for their favorites. 

For details about all these programs, contact Librarian LaVonne Murray, 503-394-8153 or email [email protected]. The library is at 38957 NW 1st Ave.

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