By Yuhan Zhao SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)—It’s a stormy Thursday night near Halloween. Monica Norton, the Youth Services Librarian with Salina Free Library, is waiting for students to show up on her “mini pumpkin fling” class. The class is aiming to introduce the background of pumpkin flingers, including a little bit physics, history and guide the sutdents to make a small-size trubuchet. As the designer of the STEAM-related classes(Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) for Salina Library, who will show up is always Norton’s biggest concern. Students who live nearby usually prefer to walk to the library in the good weather, but today it’s raining heavily. And there is only one student has signed up to come in advance.
Luckily, several young girls ages 6 to 12 have shown up on time. They were all familiar faces to Norton. The class went on quite well. One of the students was so excited during the course that shouted out “I love science!” loudly. Everyone laughed. Students were learning to make their trebuchets with full attention.
At the end of the class, every kid came out with a beautiful and functional trebuchet. Mini “pumpkins”, hand-made flingers and laughings were all around. Students have not only flung off the mini pumpkins but also have a nice shoot for science.
Norton says, she just barely stopped herself from talking about Newton’s law of physics, but it was there. A little bit of history was in there, with the history of siege weapons.
Inspired by more popular large scale pumpkin flings, Norton successfully turned the STEAM study into a fun seasonal project. Different from most classes, which have a strict requirement of attendance, Norton prefers to attract students with fun factors. According to the experience, the more educated the classes sound, the fewer students are likely to come. Therefore, what Norton’s looking for is to get kids excited about something, get passionate about something, and succeed in hopefully fall over with it.
More of these classes are available for registration on www.salinalibrary.org. Parents are also more than welcome to come and spend time with kids in the library’s Halloween seasonal activities.