Responders tell children about STEM

Payette emergency responders, in this photo and below invite young learners to explore inside emergency vehicles during a STEM workshop held at the Payette Public Library on June 18.

The emergency vehicles outside the Payette Public Library last week may have created some excitement about safety, but they were there to support the final Early Childhood STEM Workshop.

The real excitement was the Science and a Salad Workshop hosted by the Payette Public Library and it was a “STEM-TASTIC” evening!

This was the fourth and final event in a series of workshops for 3-6-year-olds and their parents, day care providers and preschool teachers, organized by the Payette School District’s 21st CCLC Kindergarten Program, Payette WICAP Headstart, Payette Public Library, the Lower Snake River Retired Educators and the Idaho STEM Action Center.

Participants enjoyed salad and pizza while 21st CCLC Director Jody Greif presented information about STEM, Science Technology Engineering and Math, and the importance of fostering critical thinking skills that preschoolers are naturally born with. The focus of this workshop was the science of simple machines and learning how STEM is used by community professionals.

Payette Police Officer Mike Boudreau, and Payette Firefighter William Hewitt along with some of their staff, talked to the group about how they use STEM to perform their duties. Firefighter Hewitt demonstrated the science involved in putting out fires and brought special guest Sparky the fire dog. Children also had the opportunity to climb in the emergency vehicles and get a first-hand look.

Payette Pubic Library Director Clay Ritter provided information about how to use STEM activities available at the workshop, and explained how an electrical circuit works.

There were lots of opportunities for exploration with Lego Simple Machine Kits, Code-a-pillar robots, circuit blocks for learning about basic electricity, and games that promote problem solving skills.

The Lower Snake River Retired Educators supported the workshop’s theme by generously donating the book, Simple Machines, to each family. Some members attended the workshop and were on hand to present the books.

Thanks go to the Lower Snake River Retired Educators, Library Director Clay Ritter, Firefighter William Hewitt, Officer Mike Boudreau, and the sponsoring agencies for their participation and support of this fun event.

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