Kids STEAM Through Summer at LBI Historical Museum

Jul 29, 2019

This summer at the Long Beach Island Historical Association Museum in Beach Haven, a group of youngsters are really getting steamed. Actually, make that STEAMed, as they are involved in the activity known by the acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. The free programs, geared for ages 6 to 13,  are held Mondays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon through Aug. 29.

Toni Gamils, program coordinator and an elementary school teacher from Westchester County in New York, said the sessions are an outgrowth of her Makerspace sessions, which she started at the museum in 2017.

“The main goal is to get kids working with their hands instead of relying on technology,” said Gamils. “Too many kids spend so much time in front of the computer, they forget about how much fun it is to make something with their hands, and we try to come up with some interesting, unique projects.”

For example, this summer, participants made solar ovens using pizza boxes, and constructed “puffmobiles” using Life Savers candies, paper and straws.

“They also made shelters out of newspapers, big enough for them to sit in,” said Gamils. “In the past, the children made phones using rolls, cups and strings. Another time, they were engaged in putting together bubble blowing wands. They also built spaghetti towers and put together protective layers for eggs, which we used in an egg drop contest.”

Gamils said the program usually draws between 10 and 15 youngsters for each session.

“Parents are also welcome to help out and take part,” she said. “The key is learning and having fun together. Children can come to all the sessions, or they can just go to one of them. Registration is ongoing throughout the summer.”

For more information, call the museum at 609-492-0700. E.E.

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