Eight-year-old Olivia Flowers of Barren County has something she wants to share with her friends when she returns to school after the new year.
Olivia said she plans to tell them about the Discover Tech exhibit set up throughout the Mary Wood Weldon Memorial Library in Glasgow.
The library was one of only eight in the country to be chosen for the traveling exhibit and to receive a $1,000 grant to install and have accompanying materials or programs for the exhibit. The exhibit will be on display through February, according to Marla Ford, director of the library’s youth service department.
“We are also going to have special programming that relates to the exhibit,” Ford said.
Olivia estimates that she has been through the exhibit about eight times while she waits for her mom, Deloris Flowers, to finish work at the library.
Her favorite part is the interactive bridge building exhibit. Magnets and chains, along with other materials, allow visitors to build a bridge. If it’s not done correctly, the bridge will fall apart when picked up, Olivia said. She also likes the solar power exhibit.
Her mom likes the activity that shows how much electricity it takes to power three different light bulbs.
“I never realized the difference,” she said. “As a mom, I think the exhibit is really good for the kids. It teaches them in a way that they don’t realize they are learning because they are playing. It makes it more fun.”
Ford said the exhibit’s emphasis is on the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering, critical issues that must be addressed in the 21st century. The exhibit also looks at the fundamental principles of energy, a person’s energy use and how engineering affects society over time and place.
Events planned along with the exhibit include:
•An open house and grand opening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today featuring Western Kentucky University’s Concrete Canoe Team.
•General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant engineer Thomas E. Hill will talk about “Engineering the Corvette” at 1 p.m. Jan. 10.
•Flood Risk Management will be discussed at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 17 by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representatives.
•Karst-Nonkarst Models will be presented by Cheryl Messenger of Mammoth Cave National Park at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 18.
•Engineer’s Favorite Problem Solver will be presented by a panel of engineers at 1 p.m. Jan. 24.
In addition to these programs, schoolchildren will be brought to the exhibit throughout January and February, and other programs may be planned.
The exhibit is a collaborative effort through the American Library Association Public Programs Office, the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the National Girls Collaborative Project.
— The library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. However, it will close at 4 p.m. New Year’s Eve and be closed New Year’s Day.