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Facts? Schmaks. The Evanston Public Library is developing programs that will help teenagers hone the skills they will need to succeed in the 21st Century.

Back in their parents’ and grandparents’ day, the typical classroom for teens was designed to give them the facts they need to know.

An Evanston grandfather regales his grandkids with how his math teacher taught him how to remember the square root of 3.

“The square root of three,” she said, “is 1.732.  Here’s how you can remember that: George Washington was born in the year 1732.”

Said the grandfather recently:  “Thanks to her, I’ve never forgotten either the square root of 3 or the year that George Washington was born, and what’s more, I’ve never needed to know either.”

But today, facts are more easily obtained via skillful utilization of the internet.

Accordingly, the library is offering programs that go beyond mere fact-gathering-and-recitation and will focus on such skills as design process, technology fluency, problem solving, collaboration, and more.

Students in grades 6 to 12 are invited to the programs, which will meet in the Teen Loft  on the third floor of the main library at Church Street and Orrington Avenue.

Having fun, hanging out, and exploring science in the casual atmosphere provided by the Evanston Public Library’s teen space, The Loft, could contain important skills for teenagers to master for thriving in the 21st Century.

The Anime Club is for teens interested in anime, a Japanese term for animation, and manga, Japanese comics. They will watch anime, eat delicious and sometimes weird Japanese snacks, and use the vinyl cutter to make fan gear, such as buttons, stickers, and more. The Anime Club will meet tomorrow night, Nov 2, Dec. 7, and Jan. 4, at 6:30 p.m.

3D Thursdays will gather teens to use 3D design software and the 3D printer to create useful objects. Their work will take their basic skills to the next level so that they are not just consumers, but creators. 3D Thursdays are Nov. 9, Dec. 14, and Jan. 11, at 6:30 p.m.

In the Hacking Electronics program, teens will build, hack, and code everyday objects and turn them into something new. They will program and build an electric maze using wire and a programmable microcontroller. Hacking Electronics will meet Sundays, Dec. 10 and Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. 

Because of a limited number of spots, registration is required for 3D Thursdays and Hacking Electronics. Teens can register on the EPL website under teen events, or call The Loft at (847) 448-8625.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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