YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County is hoping to make learning fun for its younger visitors, with a new interactive space.
The learning display is thanks to a $20,765 Sparks! Ignition Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is part of a collaborative effort between the library and OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology.
Geared toward children in kindergarten through eighth grade, the learning space includes hands-on activities such as water-controlled video games, 3D printing and remote-controlled toy drones. Kids can also make movies with animation, build Legos online and write a “mad-lib weather forecast,” which can then be presented at the green-screen exhibit at OH WOW!
The idea is to create shared learning experiences. From the library’s learning center, children then get a free pass to OH WOW!, where they can continue their learning.
Badges are available to track the progress of the participants as they move between the two centers. Earning at least 10 badges gets participants a $5 coupon to Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts.
Josephine Nolfi, director of youth services at the library, said the exhibits bring learning to life.
“When they come in and they actually handle the race cars, and they don’t know why the heavier one goes faster than the lighter one, that is an opportunity for them to see what is being talked about in a book,” she said.
The learning center will be open through September 30, but organizers hope it becomes popular and stays open longer.