The Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library held “Wizards, Witches, and Wands” week this week, with lots of storytelling and other programs designed to activate young imaginations. And on Wednesday, there was a whole day of fun virtual programs for children of all ages to enjoy.

First up was Magician John O’Bryant with an encore performance of his magic video from earlier in the summer. A mix of magic tricks and tips, as well as some footage of his early performances, he kept audiences entertained in the morning.

In the afternoon, library director Lisa Youngblood gave calligraphy lessons. “Today we’re going to do what is called black letter calligraphy writing,” she said.

The only materials necessary were paper, a pen or pencil, and a calligraphy marker (many received this in their exploration kits, but these can be found at any hobby store). She began by showing viewers how to make calligraphy practice paper, then showed the proper way to hold a calligraphy pen.

Youngblood explained above- and below-the-line lettering, and practiced basic vertical, horizontal, and diagonal strokes. She then introduced the five main strokes used in calligraphy: straight, diamond, slanted, straight slant, and tail. Once these had been demonstrated, she showed viewers how to combine the different strokes to form lowercase letters (i, l, and a) and uppercase letters (X, R, C).

“This is a wonderful way to make all of your writing look magical,” she said at the video’s conclusion.

You can get a calligraphy practice template here: http://www.ci.harker-heights.tx.us/HHPLSpecialEvents.

Watch the video on the library’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/harkerheightspubliclibrary/videos/320249149099753/.

The final program was Cauldron Science with library clerk Heather Heilman, featuring dry ice. There were only three materials necessary: A bowl (this would fit inside the small cauldron she had for today’s lesson), a container of water, and some dry ice.

“Dry is cold,” she explained to viewers. “If you touch it with bare skin you’re going to end up with frost bite.” She wore gloves for the experiment for this reason.

In a well-ventilated area, Heilman placed the bowl inside the cauldron and added the dry ice to the bowl. She then slowly added water to the dry ice, which made the cauldron look as if it were steaming. She explained that dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide (it freezes at -109 degrees Fahrenheit), and goes directly from solid to vapor, creating that misting as it changes states.

“It’s fun (to do) and it’s cool,” Heilman said.

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