Gala Ward, 3, receives help from mom Alcy Gallego to construct a spinning LEGO top during the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library’s weekly Science Club on Dec. 28.


A handful of children focused intently on computers in front of them during the library’s weekly Science Club meeting Dec. 28.

Each child was attempting to program a robot using LEGO’s “We Do” robotics software. The day’s challenge: to construct and execute a spinning top.

“This activity is part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum,” explained Children’s Librarian Amanda Hairston. “Apart from building the top, which relates to engineering, the kids learn some basic computer programming skills in order to get the tops to spin.”

Hairston also noted that the library has applied for grants for newer LEGO robotics kits that use tablets and Bluetooth. They hope to have them by summer, in time for the library’s summer robotics camp, she said.

Though the club is geared toward children ages 7 to 10, Barrett Howell, 8, was participating in the club for the first time with the help of his little sister, Harper, 4.

“We live in Temple but make the trip out to Harker Heights every couple of weeks because we like the quality of this library,” noted Joanna Howell, the kids’ mother. “We were here looking for books when we heard about the Science Club, and the kids wanted to check it out.”

The preliminary session seemed to be a hit with the Howell children.

“My favorite part was watching the top spin,” Barrett said. “I really like science — especially the idea that atoms make up everything, even the air.”

Aside from newcomers, the club also attracts regulars like Olivia Jackson, 10.

“I enjoy science, so I’m here almost every week,” she noted while performing several last spins on her top by clicking various buttons on her computer.

In addition to Science Club, which meets every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., the library offers many different activities and programs for both kids and adults.

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