Camarena Memorial Library presents STEAM educational summer program

Lizeth Legaspi, Camarena Library’s STEAM project coordinator, helps children as they draw with compasses during the library’s summer program June 28.

CALEXICO – Summer events in the Camarena Memorial Library continued June 28 as children from grades fourth and higher were welcomed to the library for a fun and educational art activity that incorporated the STEM educational program.

Called STEAM, the library’s program is a rendition of the county’s STEM science curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) used in Imperial Valley schools. Unlike the STEM program most children are familiar with, the Camarena Memorial Library decided to introduce art into its project to create STEAM.

“Our goal is to provide these young children with fun and educational activities that incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math through art,” said Coordinator Lizeth Legaspi.

The project for the day involved compasses and allowed children to create different designed from circles. The kids later colored in the circles to make unique designs on their posters.

“For this project, we wanted to teach students how to use these compasses, so they can later use this knowledge for situations in mathematics and know how compasses can be applied to engineering,” said Legaspi.

While most children struggled to use the new tool, Legaspi showed children how to adjust the size of the compass to create different sized circles and they learned how adjusting the needle away from the pencil determined the radius of the circles.

Children also learned to use a compass to figure out the distance on a map, or in this case, between two circles. To use this technique, they learned the distance between the rotation of the needle from the pencil can represent numbers to figure the total distance in reality.

To close out the lesson, children drew as many circles as they could to create their own one-of-a-kind work of art.

“By creating this lesson, children who have never used a compass got to know what they can do in a creative way,” Legaspi said.

The Camarena Memorial Library will continue to host STEAM events throughout July on the 5, 12, 19, and 26.

Other school-aged events the library is hosting include bingo, movie nights, and various other arts and crafts projects to keep children busy through the library’s summer program.