By Roy L. Williams
Birmingham Public Library
Are you a teenager desiring to learn how to program robots or how to create cool objects using a 3D printer? Do you have a child with a gift for poetry who desires to write a spoken word poem about the civil rights movement that’ll be archived for future generations to hear?
Then make plans to participate in the 2018 Birmingham Public Library (BPL)’s Summer Learning programs for teens. Summer Learning puts an emphasis on learning through reading to prevent the dreaded “summer slide,” a term referring to learning loss that occurs when students are on summer break.
Here is a listing of select teen Summer Learning programs in June and July.
June 4-8, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily, Teens Engineer BHM Robotics Camp, Create205 Learning Lab, 2nd Floor, Central Library, 2100 Park Place, 205-226-3655
Teens Engineer BHM is a partnership between BPL and the UAB School of Engineering. UAB student mentors will teach participants how computer coding, how to program robots and more. Students must bring their own lunch. Registration is open to the first 20 students in grades 6-12. Teens Engineer BHM is also offering several free two-hour engineering programs at libraries across Birmingham in June and July. Teens Engineer BHM is sponsored by grants from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and the UAB Benevolent Fund.
June 11, 3 p.m. Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead: How to Make a Tissue Box Guitar, Inglenook Library, 4100 40th Terrace, 205-849-8739
Teens will make their own guitars out of tissue boxes and discuss how different size strings (rubber bands) vibrate to make sounds. Materials provided.
June 21, 2 p.m., Are You a Rock Star? Pratt City Branch Library, 509 Dugan Ave.,
Hey teens, think you have what it takes to be a rock star? Come show your skills at Pratt City Library’s Karaoke Competition. Prizes will be rewarded. Register in advance by calling 205-791-4997.
June 26, 10 a.m., Rock ‘N’ the Rhythm of the Drums, East Lake Library, #5 Oporto-Madrid Blvd., 205-836-3341.
Lavondia Bryant—Square, director of Nathifa’s Dance Co., will teach teens how to move and groove to traditional African drum beats. This program is also being offered at several other BPL locations this summer.
June 28, 10 a.m., M.A.D. (Music and Dance) Skillz Dance Co., East Ensley Branch Library. Winston Strickland, artistic director at M.A.D. Skillz, will teach teens the latest hip-hop dance moves. No experience is necessary.
July 9-13, 10 a.m. Spoken Word Poetry Camp: Civil Rights Through the Eyes of a Young Poet, Creative 205 Learning Lab, 2nd Floor, Central Library, 205-226-3655
In a partnership between BPL’s Archives Department and John Paul Taylor of Real Life Poets, this camp will talk about Birmingham’s role in the 1960s civil rights movement and compare it to civil rights today. Participants will complete a spoken word poem by the end of the week and perform it as it is recorded into BPL’s digital archives to share with the world. Registration is open now with a 25 student limit. Students must be in grades 9-12.
Smithfield Computer Science Club, 10 a.m. Thursdays during July (July 5, July 12, July 19 and July 26), Smithfield Branch Library, #1 8th Ave. West, 205-324-8428.
Teens will code with Scratch and use Google CS First’s Music and Sound to create music videos. Learn what it’s like to be a computer programmer.
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit www.bplonline.org and follow BPL on Facebook and Twitter @BPL.