DI Library to host ‘STEM Thursdays’
Extending on a summer focused on space endeavors, including celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon and participating in a Guinness World Record Rocket Launch, the Daniel Island Library will soon begin holding a weekly program dedicated to science and technology.
A new “STEM Thursdays” series will debut on August 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. and will continue through the fall, according to Daniel Island Library Branch Manager Tim Boyle, who is leading the initiative.
“We’ll feature STEM-related stuff every Thursday after school, and we’ll do something different every week,” said Boyle, whose passion for science and interactive learning is contagious.
He has amassed a range of materials aimed at children ages 8-13 who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). From Stirling model engines and Mendocino solar powered-engines to snap circuit kits and Dot and Dash Robots, Boyle and his staff will show participants how the models or kits work, explain the science behind it, then they will let the kids experiment themselves.
The program is the result of the Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund (LBMF), a nonprofit established in 2016 to honor Boyle’s daughter, Lucy, who passed away unexpectedly at age 13, and who was very involved in coding and STEM subjects. A plaque in the library that reads “In Fond Memory / Lucy Boyle / Wizard in Training” hangs over the bookshelf designated for STEM-related books and audiobooks.
The fund, which has raised more than $15,000 from generous donations from individuals and local organizations, has sponsored coding classes and a weeklong robotics camp in the past.
Boyle said, “We focused on a lot of coding at first, but we’re trying to get kids more interested in STEM: to take out books, use the kits available at the library.”
Initially, he wasn’t sure how to best allocate the funding. But then, Boyle said, “I realized I would do what Lucy would have done with the money — find gadgets and fun stuff for kids.”
To kick off the STEM Thursday series on August 8, a time capsule event has been planned. The Smithsonian time capsule — which actually was a gift to Lucy that she never got to use — will be buried on the library grounds with 12 items that represent 2019. If any children still want to participate, there is a signup sheet at the library with some slots still remaining. Boyle said he hopes to open the time capsule again in 10 years.
At the library recently, a dad sat at a table with his two daughters, and they worked together assembling a STEM-based circuit kit. Boyle stopped automatically to talk to them and to let them know about upcoming events. The scene seemed like a perfect example of the mission of the Lucy Boyle Memorial Fund — making science and technology available for the education and enjoyment of future generations.
For more information about the STEM Thursday series, visit berkeleylibrarysc.org.