New STEAM “Makerspace” Open at the Wilson County, NC Main Library

Amanda Gardner of WCPL with the Makerspace 3D printer. Photo: Kay Whatley
Amanda Gardner of WCPL with the Makerspace 3D printer. Photo: Kay Whatley

By Kay Whatley, Editor

Recent grant awards to Wilson County Public Library (WCPL) have funded creation of a new Makerspace on the second floor of the Main Library, and new resources for youth programs. Grants totaling $59,063.75 are being used to teach STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

According to Amanda Gardner, Assistant Library Manager, funding came from two source:

  • A Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant awarded ($44,343 plus 25% matching funds from WCPL totaling $55.428.75) to Wilson County Public Library for the creation of a CrAFT Studio (Creativity, Art, Fabrication, and Technology).  The CrAFT Studio will combine the MakerSpace movement with STEAM subjects through robotics, coding, crafts, electronics, and more.  A mobile unit will travel with STEAM supplies to all Wilson County Public Library branches, as well as local nonprofits that target at-risk youth.
  • The grant from the Wilson Rotary Club ($3,635) for STEAM resources. Funds were used to purchase equipment and materials including Snap Circuits, LEGOs, and basic toolkits.
Wilson Rotary Club "big check" representing their donation to the library. Source: Amanda Gardner, Wilson County Public Library
Wilson Rotary Club “big check” representing their donation to the library. Source: Amanda Gardner, Wilson County Public Library

STEAM equipment available for library programs includes:

  • 3D printer
  • Cricket cutting tool
  • Sewing machine
  • “Teacher Geek” with motor/electronics components & tools
  • Lego blocks
  • Keva planks
  • Sculpting clay
  • and more!

Visit WCPL online and view the calendar of STEAM (and other) events.

In addition to the Wilson County Public Library’s STEAM programs, the library is now taking reservations for two-hour time slots to use Makerspace equipment.  Reservations may be made up to one week in advance by calling Adult Services at 252.237.5355 x.5028 or emailing the Reference Department.

With questions regarding Youth STEAM programs, contact Scott Houston, Youth Services Manager, at 252.237.5355 x.5055 or via email.

 

WCPL Makerspace on the Main Library second floor. Photo: Kay Whatley
WCPL Makerspace on the Main Library second floor. Photo: Kay Whatley

The Makerspace grand opening was held at the WCPL main library (249 Nash Street W, Wilson, NC) in January 2020, with a variety of activities using the new space and supplies.

Scott Houston demonstrates the 3D printer to a group of adults. Source: Amanda Gardner, Wilson County Public Library
Scott Houston demonstrates the 3D printer to a group of adults. Source: Amanda Gardner, Wilson County Public Library

 

Keva Planks for building, in the WCPL Makerspace. Photo: Kay Whatley
Keva Planks for building, in the WCPL Makerspace. Photo: Kay Whatley

The Teacher Geek shelving holds a variety of electronic components, including motors, gears, leads, and the tools to work with them.

 

WCPL Makerspace "Teacher Geek" shelves with engineering / electronics supplies and tools. Photo: Kay Whatley
WCPL Makerspace “Teacher Geek” shelves with engineering / electronics supplies and tools. Photo: Kay Whatley

 

Cricket cutting tool in the Wilson County Public Library Makerspace. Photo: Kay Whatley
Cricket cutting tool in the Wilson County Public Library Makerspace. Photo: Kay Whatley

 

Sewing machine station in the Wilson County Public Library's Makerspace. Photo: Kay Whatley
Sewing machine station in the Wilson County Public Library’s Makerspace. Photo: Kay Whatley

 

WCPL second floor children/youth library entrance. Photo: Kay Whatley
WCPL second floor children/youth library entrance. Photo: Kay Whatley

 

WCPL story time area with Legos for building. Photo: Kay Whatley
WCPL story time area with Legos for building. Photo: Kay Whatley

 

Source: Wilson County Public Library

 

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About Kay Whatley 2221 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.