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Parents who want to encourage their teens to be innovative once school lets out – programming a robot, for example, or trying out the latest technology offered by a 3-D printer – should consider the Evanston Public Library (EPL) as the spot for science.

The Library will offer programming at all three locations this summer for teenagers, children and families to engage with technology, create rather than consume, and discover the joy of learning while doing. The activities are designed to spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math and the arts and help develop valuable skills in an atmosphere of discovery.

EPL is one of just 34 host sites nationwide  gearing up to introduce Maker Education Initiative’s pilot program, Maker Corps. The Maker Education Initiative, whose sponsors include Intel and Pixar, will inspire Library staff to create successful Maker-based programs. Ruth Starr, Evanston Township High School alum and a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, and Grace Casimer, a Northwestern student, will be Maker Corps staff at the Library this summer.

Renee Neumeier, young adult librarian at EPL, describes programs in which kids can learn the basics of circuitry using play dough: “You can make a pig with light-up eyes or a house with all the lights on, whatever you can imagine,” she said.
Participants will use equipment made possible through a partnership with Northwestern’s Office of STEM Education Partnerships.

“I’m hoping that while kids are having fun and creating things, they’ll also learn new skills like the basics of electronics, computer programming or 3-D design. They might find new interests or their explorations may someday lead them to work they never imagined,” she says.

Anyone wishing more information may contact Ms. Neumeier at rneumeier@cityofevanston.org.