Sandy Library offers free classes on STEM subjects and much more
Feb 07, 2019 04:03PM
By Heather Lawrence
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
On Feb. 5, the Sandy Library on 10100 S. Petunia Way hosted six events throughout the day.
The events ranged from Drop in Storytime for toddlers, to an adult writing workshop and 3D
printing class. Events are an everyday occurrence at the library, and funded in part through
library grants and the ZAP tax.
Tavin Stucki, Public Relations Coordinator for The Salt Lake County Library (which includes
the Sandy branch) is excited about what they offer. “We want to get the word out that these
events are happening at every branch every day. We are all about STEM and have program
boxes full of supplies dedicated to the field,” Stucki said.
One of the classes offered Feb. 5 was Lego Mindstorms. The class was run by Tracy Daley, a
Community Outreach Specialist from the Clark Planetarium.
“This class is running each Tuesday in February. My supervisor created the curriculum and the
Planetarium paid for the kits. It’s done with a grant obtained by the library. The goal is to get
kids excited about science and expose as many of them to coding as possible,” Daley said.
In the Lego coding class, each child followed directions to give their Lego robot basic
commands, such as recognizing and saying a color name.
Mom Alisa Parry brought her four sons, who are home-schooled, to the event. There was no fee,
no sign up and no commitment to attend all four weeks (though it’s recommended).
“We come here all the time. We’re always looking for opportunities like this where people come
in and bring their expertise. We try to do something technology-based every week. In that area,
the professionals here can give my kids much more than I can provide,” Parry said.
While Parry’s three oldest boys Collin, Jack and Cameron worked on the robots, her youngest
was anxious to go out and pick a book. His favorite activity at the library? “Puppet shows!”
She’s also brought them to events on nutrition and Harry Potter nights.
Cassie Leclair-Marzolf is a staff member at the Sandy Library. A self-professed “geek” about 3D printing, she presented an hour-long class on the topic on Feb. 5.
The library’s 3D printing program lets people come in and request something to be made on the
printer there. They don’t have to pay for the service, and they don’t have to pay for the filament
that the printer uses.
“I started at Magna, the first library to have a 3D printer. Without public access, people might
go their whole lives without using one,” Leclair-Marzolf said.
Leclair-Marzolf brought printing samples – little toys and knick-knacks like a Yoda or a small
articulating dinosaur. But the possibilities are endless. “Most people get their projects off of a
website called thingiverse. It’s an open source site with tens of thousands of designs for 3D
printing,” Leclair-Marzolf said.
Chris and Patricia Wright of Sandy brought their two small children to the class. “I’ve been
interested in this technology ever since I read that people have printed human organs and
prosthetics. This is our family’s first exposure to it, and we just wanted to do something fun,”
Wright’s two children both chose to turn in a request for a Minecraft sword they found on the
thingiverse website, and got to pick from one of the dozen available colors. The requests will be
filled by the library staff, who will call the Wrights when they’re ready to be picked up.
“One of the most important things to me is making these programs accessible to everyone,
regardless of their income or social background. Having the same programs here at the library
that people can pay for in the private sector levels the playing field. You’d be hard-pressed to
find a librarian that doesn’t feel that way,” Leclair-Marzolf said.
For the schedule of library events, visit https://www.slcolibrary.org/le/index.htm and click on a
library from the list or call customer service at (801) 943-4636.