At the Olathe Teen Commons, the STEAM team attracts young people with diverse interests to have some summer fun with science.
Recently, the Commons became a fun filled chemistry lab, as kids made glow-in-the-dark slime, fuzzy slime, and basic slime, having fun with mixing their concoctions. “Teens enjoy these classes so much,” said Angela Parks, The Olathe Public Library Teen Services Supervisor who led the activity. “The majority of them do not realize they are learning because they are having so much fun.”
Some of the attendees are interested in STEAM-related careers, as well as summer fun. Some of the students plan to work at NASA, or in medical fields. They love science and the many activities surrounding it.
The Olathe Public Library holds STEAM events at various library branches, and has done so since 2010. Parks has directed teen programming since 2008.
Activities include stop motion and green screen animation, making books, culinary arts, engineering, math, and design. “The arts spur creativity, which is needed in science and engineering,” Parks said. “Further, many of our arts events held at the Downtown Library’s Makerspace require science, math and engineering skills. Often, the connection between all of these skills is not recognized.”