Falmouth library offers fun with science

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FALMOUTH — Youngsters will be challenged to show off their smarts and creativity with a special Science Sensations program focused on items typically found in a household junk drawer.

The program, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Falmouth Memorial Library. Pre-registration is requested; call the library at 781-2351 for more information.

Will Brown, the library’s head of youth services, will lead the science exploration workshop. The program offers a hands-on learning opportunity, allowing participants to get firsthand experience.

“Everything (we’ll) do is direct experimentation and application of science, technology, engineering, arts and math” principles, Brown said. “There is no deeper learning than through direct experience, and hands-on lessons (create) an immediate connection (showing) how science can be directly applied.”

Brown said it’s important for the library to offer programs like Science Sensations because science, engineering and math “encompass the set of skills needed to be able to independently question, assess and change the world.”

He added, “We want to help children in the community see that science and problem-solving is something (that’s) easily in reach. I hope that our young scientists walk away feeling more able than when they came.”

Brown said he also wants the participants to feel free to “begin puzzling out the questions they have (regarding) how the world works,” while also creating solutions to overcome a variety of challenges.

Most of all, though, he wants to “present science as fun because that’s how kids relate to it best.”

For example, Brown said, “Few children are interested in a lesson on efficient aerodynamics, but a class on how to make long-flying paper airplanes? That (makes for) a fun afternoon, and it teaches them the same basic principles. The memories of a fun challenge are more easily remembered and, of course, if they have fun they’ll come back for more.”

Brown’s been working at the library for six years, and said that the Science Sensations workshops was “something I put together within my first years here.”

“I think my favorite part of Science Sensations is seeing the wonder and amazement that science held for me as a child reflected (back),” he said. “I try to use examples of science that I thought were amazing or impressive, and to see them react with the same sort of amazement that first grabbed” my interest.

Brown said another goal of his Science Sensations programs is showing parents that “great science lessons for kids rarely need fancy equipment, and that there are great opportunities to observe, learn and use science around us every day.”

“We also have some great books on the topic for anyone who is interested,” he said.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.

It doesn’t take anything fancy to set up a fun, engaging science, engineering or math experiment for kids, according to Will Brown, head of youth services at Falmouth Memorial Library. The library is offering a special Science Sensations program Friday, Feb. 24.