ZomeTool Expo teaches kids STEM concepts

By Reader Staff

Suanne Ellis is passionate about education. When she discovered ZomeTools after meeting the company’s co-founder, Paul Hildebrandt, she immediately set out to spread the word about its potential as a STEAM education tool and manipulative toy. Since her son, Kodiak, was a regular participant in Make It at the Library, The Library’s makerspace program, she suggested that it be introduced to the program.

“Now that Make It isn’t happening (due to the construction project), the ZomeTool Expo will give those kids another creative outlet,” Ellis said.

Suanne Ellis poses with her son, Kodiak and a ZomeTool project he created. Courtesy photo.

The Sandpoint Parks and Recreation Department and the East Bonner County Library District are joining forces with Suanne to bring the ZomeTool Expo to Sandpoint. A STEAM competition for some pretty amazing prizes will take place on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Sandpoint Community Hall, 204 S. First Avenue. It runs from 1-3 p.m. for kids grades four through seven.

STEAM education involves interactive learning in science, technology, engineering, art, and math to prepare children for future careers in those fields. ZomeTools are widely used by educators as an engineering activity, particularly in demonstrating geometrical concepts. But, that doesn’t stop kids from having fun with them. Perhaps that is why the company won the 2013 Popular Science “Best of Toyfair.”

The library is providing all of the supplies needed, including prizes such as ZomeTool kits and the popular Nick and Tesla’s books. Local teachers will judge the finished projects with prizes awarded for the Grand Champion, Reserve Champion, Peoples’ Choice and Judges’ Choice.

“I just get excited about the phenomenal ways these can be used in education,” Suanne said.

No need to preregister – just show up. Questions can be directed to Morgan Gariepy, Young Adult Services Librarian, at (208) 263-6930 extension 1245 or [email protected]

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