CARSON CITY, Nev. (Nov. 19, 2020) – Reimagining learning, the Carson City Library is bringing robotics technology and engineering to Carson City middle school students in 2021. Utilizing analog and digital learning, students will build components of a bionic fish, elephant, and chameleon over the 3-day Bionics Camps designed to encourage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related career exploration and development.

This project is made possible through a grant provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records.

“Books are just the surface of what the Carson City Library offers local residents,” said Carson City Library Director Tod Colegrove. “We’re about meeting their need through various forms of education. Our upcoming Bionics Camps provide an incredible opportunity for us to engage with our local youth on the importance of science, innovation and creativity in developing technology and as a future career path. Nothing takes the place of hands-on learning and this will provide an exceptional opportunity for our inspiring STEM students.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it is predicted that STEM jobs will grow twice as fast as other fields in the coming decade, including bionic fields.

Bionics study the mechanical systems that function like living organisms or parts of living organisms. The library will use the Bionics4Education program which was developed by a team of engineers, designers, computer scientists and biologists to help with ideation, creativity, problem-solving and the excitement around bionics and STEM to bring these skills to life in an instructed setting. The nature-based finished robots are controlled remotely with mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

A locally trained bionics educator and Carson City Library staff will lead the Bionic Camps. Carson City Library staff will be able to continue offering this educational opportunity after the funding period ends.

Bionic Camps are scheduled to start in February 2021. Camp registration will be available beginning in January 2021. As part of the camp, each attendee will learn how to use the NV Career Explorer database as a foundational element to encourage increased career and educational opportunities.

Camps will be conducted following strict health and safety protocols including one kit per student, ensuring proper physical distance by limiting each table to one student, limited participation, face coverings and/or face shields (face shields are produced on-site using 3-D printing technology at the library’s Capital Makers space), hand sanitation stations and other sanitation procedures and providing food/snacks and drinks individually wrapped and containerized.

This project is 90% funded with the Institute of Museum and Library Services federal monies with an additional 10% locally funded. Federal funds for this project are $26,376.

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