Teens Get Messy for STEM at Excelsior Library’s FabLab

by | Feb 2019

Students creating bath bombs at Teen FabLab.

Photo: Teen FabLab

Teens make bath bombs, squishies, and more at the library’s makerspace.

If your teens are looking for a fresh way to beat winter boredom, check out the Excelsior Library’s Teen FabLab programming, which offers a STEM-focused project each month. “We started Teen FabLab in the fall of 2017 as a way to engage the after-school crowd that gathers at the library,” says teen services librarian Tracy Hvezda-Lehtola. “We set a goal to offer teens a welcoming space to enjoy each other’s company, meet new friends and try a makerspace project.”

Hvezda-Lehtola says teens get to try on different STEM hats. “When making bath bombs last spring, teens became chemists as they mixed ingredients … when making light-up Valentines, the teens became electrical engineers.” One cool thing about the gatherings is that they bring teens from different backgrounds together. “Some come to us from public schools, some attend private schools and some are homeschooled,” says Hvezda-Lehtola. “The library is an ideal space for teens to gather.”

She says, “For me, the biggest success is when the teens see their project through to the end, especially if they encountered some frustration early on … I’m delighted when they come up with a creative solution that I’d never thought of.”

Which projects are the most popular? “The messiest ones,” she says. That’s a truism parents everywhere know. But hey—the messier, the merrier.

Teen FabLab
February 7, 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Hennepin County Library-Excelsior
337 Water St., Excelsior
FabLab is free; no registration required.


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