COMMUNITY - "This Leap Year, leap into STEM"

TREMONTON – By Marcia Wendorf – Feb. 22, 2020

On Saturday, February 29, 2020, between 2-4 p.m. at the Bear River Valley Senior Center, the Tremonton City Library will be having STEM day event that will enlighten and educate the minds of all patrons. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The Tremonton City Library will be offering activities and learning opportunities in the field of science during those two hours as well as a few more hands-on activities for patrons.

Kim Griffiths, Tremonton City Library Director, told The Valley Headliner – BRVNEWS.com, that at the event, "we will be doing science activities from the ‘Leap Into Science’ program." This is a national program that integrates science activities with children's books, and it is intended for young children and their families.

This year, the focus will be on wind experiments and there will be several booths set up with various wind activities.

The event will also feature the library's new Oculus Go and Occulus Quest virtual reality headsets. The Oculus Quest comes with two remotes for more challenging game play, and the library has a Chromecast, so images can be sent to a television for viewing by others. Games and apps available on the headsets allow participants to visit 3D virtual worlds. These include an art museum, a walk with dinosaurs and a trip through the solar system.

One other fun feature ready for the day’s event is a job simulator. The job simulator allows kids to test drive future careers. What careers do most of the young patrons at the Tremonton City Library tend to gravitate towards?

According to Griffiths, the kids often search for those careers they deem “the grossest.” Also available at the event will be MERGE Cubes which provide augmented reality applications directly to smartphones. Both the Oculus virtual reality headsets and the MERGE Cubes were purchased through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant that the Tremonton City Library received last fall. The library recently implemented a new policy that will allow patrons visiting the library to use the virtual reality and augmented reality devices. Also available at the library’s STEM day, will be robotics kits that will allow even the smallest children to interact with a robot. They will be able to make the robot make noises, move around and even dance. At the event, kids will have the opportunity to sign up for the library’s summer coding and robotics classes where they will learn how to create apps, a

nd websites.

The Tremonton City Library will be starting a Girls Can Code club that will meet once a week. The library uses the Prenda Code Clubs (https://prendacodeclub.com/) programs and also those from Girls Who Code (https://girlswhocode.com/). These classes teach students how to work together and how to create new things.

According to Griffiths, the goal of STEM day is to, “introduce all ages to science and to acquaint students with the library's new virtual reality and augmented reality devices.”

Tremonton City Library’s STEM day event is free to the public. Local teachers are also encouraged to utilize the library's resources to help expand their reach into the community.