The Harker Heights Public Library was packed for STEAM Day on Wednesday morning, which featured science-based activities for children of all ages.

Children’s Librarian Amanda Hairston, who coordinated the event, said, “I really like the energy.”

There were already about 200 people waiting for the event to start, and Hairston noted that there would be more people to come as the morning progressed.

“We have a lot of summer camps, a lot of care centers, and a lot more individuals who will come throughout the morning.”

She was right; about 500 people attended the event, which Hairston said had a real “festival feel.”

Activities for the younger children included a Block Party, where children could play with all manner of different sizes of blocks.

For older children, activities included learning about the different types of Central Texas rocks from the Tri-City Rock and Mineral Society; music exploration, face painting, crafts, and outdoor science activities from the KISD Skipcha and Haynes Elementary Leadership Camps; and activities provided by both Mathnasium of Killeen and Temple Children’s Museum.

Nick Vernon of Killeen brought his two sons, ages 5 and 2. He said, “These two little guys love reading books. ... My wife is an elementary teacher, so they do a lot of science at home. They love it.”

Eleven-year-old Nediel Lopez of Harker Heights, who came with Care 4 Tots, said he wanted to do his “own stuff” on what he referred to as the “adult side,” or the activities for the older children.

He said he loved “everything,” especially, “the circuits, the fire department and the rocks!”

Jimmy Carson from the Harker Heights Fire Department was on hand with a fire extinguisher simulator, and said there would also be a demonstration later on how to put on the gear. There was also a fire truck outside for the kids to explore.

“We support our library and our community,” Carson said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

The police department was also there demonstrating a bit of forensic science with fingerprinting.

Officer Crystal Thomas said, “We’re showing the kids how different everyone’s prints are, and showing the different patters there are.”

Deon Reed of Caring Hands in Harker Heights said they bring their charges to the library for pretty much any event.

“I think it’s healthy. This gives them something to do that’s not on their tablets—it makes a difference. It gets their imagination going again.”

The library has events happening every Wednesday all summer long.

June will see “Slamming’ Shadow Puppets,” and “The Sound of Africa.”

The library will be closed for July 4, but for the rest of that month it has “Magical Mayhem,” “Dinosaur Day,” and “Play with your Food!”

Then August brings “Library Game Show,” “Dance Your Cares Away,” “The Singing Zoologist,” and “Puppets, Puppets, Puppets.”

Visit the library’s website for more detailed information on these upcoming events at www.ci.harker-heights.tx.us/HHPLSpecialEvents.

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