Teen Tech Week features STEAM

Tiffin-Seneca Public Library is always looking for ways to provide the teens of our community every possible advantage in engaging and accessible ways. One focus in the library community is STEAM learning, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.

Studies show STEAM-related jobs are on the rise, and as teens start thinking about their futures, having a variety of different experiences will encourage their career exploration and growth. The library is always striving to support learning inside and outside of the classroom, and the teen department has some great new tools to help teens develop these important job skills, while having fun with their friends.

This week is Teen Tech Week, an initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association to encourage teens to be competent and ethical when using digital media and technology. In the spirit of the week, the teen department will be showcasing some of our new educational items for teens – Strawbees building sets, Snap Circuits kits, and a pinback button-making machine. These items were purchased thanks to a generous grant from the B.A. Seitz Fund, in their efforts to support the teens of Seneca County and the Tiffin-Seneca Public Library.

Every Tuesday after school from 3-4:30 p.m., teens in grades 6-12 meet at the library’s Teen Tuesday program to hang out with friends, do homework and play games. Available for usage at every Teen Tuesday, Strawbees are kits with straws and plastic connector pieces. By combining the straws in various ways, teens can build a limitless variety of structures. This encourages teens to experiment with their own designs or build a project from a pattern and teaches engineering skills, but they’re also plain fun. Recently, the teens created an object that has been used as a hat, a spider puppet and a spring, among other things.

During Teen Tech Week we’ll also have Snap Circuit kits available for teens to use. Snap Circuits use building pieces that snap together to create electrical circuits. The pieces come together to create exciting projects such as a radio, a fan, a doorbell and others. They provide a fun and safe way to learn about electricity and circuitry. Three kits that include more than 500 possible projects will be available for teens to use after school Tuesday.

The teen department’s monthly Craftastic program is coming up Thursday at 3:30 p.m. We’ll be designing and creating 1 inch pinback buttons with our new button maker. Using a template, teens can draw and color their own button designs. Using the given supplies, the machine crimps and secures the image into the button. The button maker encourages creativity and allows teens to craft the button themselves. Teens can show off their personalized flair on their clothes, book bags, or wherever they can pin a button.

The Tiffin-Seneca Public Library continuously strives to bring new educational opportunities to the youth of our community. Be sure to keep an eye out for what exciting things we’ll do next!