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Go Ask Mom

Durham library hosts STEM programs, business lab for teens

Posted June 24, 2014

Teens will paint rain barrels in one of the programs at the Durham County Library.

The Durham County Library will host a couple of series this summer for teen entrepreneurs and aspiring engineers and scientists.

A Small Business Learning Lab will be held at 1 p.m., on Thursdays, through Aug. 7, at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St., Durham.  Entrepreneur T.J. Breeden will help teens with business questions.

The learning lab, which started June 19, will be held on June 26; July 10, 17, 24, 31; and Aug. 7. Teens are encouraged to bring thoughts, ideas and questions about developing a business to the lab and will have the opportunity to work on a business plan, the press release says. I'm told a teen could go to just one session or all of them.

Breeden is founder and director of eMerging Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit organization that provides career transition assistance, small business training and entrepreneurial developmental services to military and under-served minority communities. He is the recipient of the 2012 White House Champions of Change award and the 2013 Small Business Association Veteran Entrepreneurship Advocate of the Year award. 

And the Main Library also is hosting a series of science, technology, engineering and math programs for teens as well. The series began last week. Library staff started the program after noticing that few of the teens who regularly come to the library participate in organized, academic enrichment activities, often because of the cost. And many of them had little support at home between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., weekdays.

This year-round program seeks to provide real-life, hands-on projects that reinforce STEM topics while addressing the need for a nurturing and supportive out-of-school environment, a release said. The programs are part of the Teen Tech Learning Lab – Where Science and Imagination Collide!, an initiative funded in part by a grant from Duke Energy Foundation and aimed at providing teens and young adults with ongoing experiential learning opportunities in STEM-related fields.

Here's the schedule for upcoming programs: 

Phot-o-genic, Wednesdays, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., July 9, 30: Teaches the science and technology of photography. In this interactive program, teens use digital cameras to capture sight and sounds. All supplies will be provided.

Techie Teens, Mondays, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., June 16, 30; July 14, 21; Aug. 4, 11: Provides teens with a laptop, 3Doodler or iPad to play games or create.

Simple Science, Tuesdays, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., June 17; July 8, 15; Aug. 5: Features simple science experiments from Lava Lamps to candy.

Aromatic Science, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, July 17: Teaches about the chemistry of essential oils. Teens will be able to pick an essential oil to create a body butter or body spray.

Solar Cooking, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, July 1: In this interactive program, Recyclique demonstrates how to construct a solar cooker. Dr. Sandy Smith-Nonini will discuss the benefits of cooking with the sun.

Rain Barrel Painting Workshop, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, July 22: Offers an opportunity to paint a rain barrel and learn about water conservation.

Call Placedia Nance at 919-560-0122 for more information about all of these programs.

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