Maryland STEM Festival Kicks Off Next Week

Maryland STEM Festival Kicks Off Next Week

CECIL COUNTY — From Lego robotics and video games to NASA astronauts and agriculture, the Maryland STEM Festival events at Cecil County Public Libraries will have something for all ages and all interests.

Now in its third year, Maryland STEM Festival is a statewide program designed to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Over 500 events will be held at schools, libraries and other institutions throughout the state, including 22 events at county libraries. This year’s program, which has been extended from one week to two weeks, will take place from Tuesday, Oct. 31, to Nov. 12.

CCPL has been participating in the event since its inception and Katelyn McLimans, CCPL youth services coordinator, said the festival is an extension of the many STEM programs the library offers all year long.

“We see STEM as a way to engage children in critical thinking and problem solving and we know that STEM education introduces children and teams to a concept that can inspire them or motivate them to pursue future careers in STEM industries,” she said. “Participating in the STEM festival is just a way for Cecil County Public Library to highlight those programs that we’re doing and really engage the community to get excited and motivated around STEM education.”

The free programs are geared toward everyone from preschool to adults, McLimans said, and span all the library’s branches. Preschoolers can participate in Starlight Storytime: Code-A-Pillars, which takes place at the Elkton library on Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The program introduces kids age 3 to 5 to coding basics using code-a-pillars, McLimans said.

For kids age 7 to 11, there’s LEGO robotics, held at the Cecilton branch from 4 to 5 p.m. Nov. 8. As part of a partnership with the University of Maryland Extension program, kids can build a programmable LEGO robot using WeDo technology, McLimans said.

Teens meanwhile, can learn how to design their own video games as part of workshop led by Grunge Muffin Design, a local graphic design company, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the Elkton branch.

Then on Nov. 7, the whole family can get involved as part of the NASA Earth Science: Live Stream, which will be held from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. at the Rising Sun branch. During this event, families can participate in a live broadcast about NASA’s orbiting soil test observatory and a virtual question-and-answer session with a NASA scientist.

Finally, also on Nov. 7 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Elkton branch, adults can attend a science cafe about the cost of food. The program will be led by Caroline Bruce, a registered dietician at Union Hospital, who will explain how agricultural practices determine the price of foods and discuss the policies that make healthy food more expensive than foods with poor nutritional value.

This program is part of growing partnership between the library and Union Hospital, McLimans said, noting that Bruce also comes to the library to do diabetes coaching.

“It sort of evolved out of that,” she said.

To register for a Maryland STEM Festival event or for a complete listing, visit cecil.ebranch.info.

Cecil Whig, copyright 2017, all rights reserved.

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