Tech Tuesdays are engaging

Some of the kids work on Lego storytelling projects with leader Sherry Palmiter during Tech Tuesdays in August at the Chelan Library. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)


By Darlene Paterson
Empire Press Correspondent

Kids from the Chelan area participated in Lego Storytelling on Aug. 29 at the Chelan Library. Lego Storytelling took place every Tuesday in August as part of Tech Tuesday events.

Combining Lego building with storytelling, children worked inside three squares representing the beginning, middle and ending of their story. After finishing, they used their creations as framework for sharing the story with the leader and other participants.

About eight to 10 kids attended each Tuesday in August. Though advertised from 4:30 to 6 p.m., kids often came early to start building and sometimes spent up to three hours working on their stories.

Head Librarian Jennifer Oatey said, “We will be doing Tech Tuesdays for at least the next year as part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program. Sherry Palmiter is leader of the program here at our library. Every month is a different theme. August was Lego Storytelling Month and September will be Maker Month when participants will be doing a variety of projects.”

“We will be doing a combination of several things in September that we have done during the summer months,” Palmiter said. “Many locals traveled out of town and many tourists came in for summer events, so we’ve had a variety of kids. Now that school has started, we’ll get more locals again. We will pull out our 3-D printer for the older kids and do various Lego programs geared toward younger children. We will mix things up a bit.”

“Tech Tuesdays definitely include things adults would like also, but nobody has gotten that message yet,” Palmiter added. “We are working on putting together a family STEM night when families can come to work together on projects. If parents observe what is happening, they might be more likely to get involved.”

“We are starting to call the library programs STREAM instead of STEM — standing for Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math. That really combines everything one needs when doing innovative thinking and creative building,” Palmiter concluded.

Tech Tuesday’s programs are flexible and engaging. Palmiter suggests an outline for each project but allows participants to decide how to implement according to their own creativity.

In addition to doing Tech Tuesdays, she also works at the library as a sub whenever they need extra help. “It’s pretty fun,” she added with a grin.

Looking to the future, Palmiter has another goal in mind. “After the first of the year I would like to get an Inventors Club going once or twice a month, depending on interest shown. I have a whole curriculum on how to get kids thinking creatively. There is actually a statewide competitive program for Inventors Clubs and even national competitions available. If anyone gets excited enough, I would take them all the way to nationals,” she said.

In addition to Tech Tuesdays, upcoming September events at the Chelan Library include Preschool Story Time at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays, Baby Rhymin’ Time at 10:10 a.m. on Fridays, Lego Saturdays  at 1 p.m. on Sept. 9 and 23, Lake Chelan Book Group at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 21, and Magic at the Library at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 28.

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