By Joseph Pratt
July 10, 2014
The New Boston branch of the Portsmouth Public Library (PPL) held a youth event this week, involving LEGO and balloons that was geared towards physics education in a fun and entertaining way.
The library had seven kids building cars and various transportation devices from LEGO that were then connected to balloons to propel them during a race.
Students were given a quick review of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, momentum, friction, mass, force and all of the physics involved with motion and creating movement in an object. They were then set loose on a box of LEGO and were given freedom in building a device that would beat the others in a race propelled by the release of air from a balloon.
“It was all about science,” Ashley Allard, librarian of five years, said. “The students were coached on gravity and all of that and then how you can apply that knowledge with LEGO and balloons. I think they really got to enjoy it. I even got to enjoy a lot of it. As soon as the kids got to see their car take off the first time, I think they were hooked and wanted to keep doing it over and over again.”
“I was most surprised by how much they knew about LEGO. They were like really good pros at doing different projects with them. It blew my mind that they were so familiar with LEGO; I didn’t realize that LEGO were so popular. Students just had so much fun going all out on the construction of the cars, decorating them and getting them ready more than anything else. They were very creative.”
Jordan Lodwick, visitor from Florida, was the winner of the balloon race. Lodwick and her sister were in New Boston visiting family and spent a lot of time at the library participating in various library programming. The twelve-year-old was very active in the activities and even told the librarians that New Boston was one of her favorite places to visit and that she loved the library.
“The girls were visiting their aunt and she brought them here a lot and did a lot of activities in the community with them. She wanted to keep them busy and occupied,” Allard said. “It was great to see the girls love our programming so much.
Allard explained that the library is always happy to accept more students into their programming and they need more attendance for most of the events.
“I think if people only knew everything that we offered and realized how much fun kids have at the events, we would do a lot better,” Allard said. “We would like to see more teenagers coming to the programs, especially those within our community. We like to see kids that age interacting and learning with others from the area.”
The New Boston branch of the Portsmouth Public Library has two more events on their schedule of events for July.
A program on popsicle bracelets will be held on July 21 at 5:30 p.m. A painting class will also be going on at 5:30 p.m. on July 28.
More information on what the different branches of the PPL offer throughout the year can be obtained by visiting www.yourppl.org.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.