Ryan challenges her little brother Shane to a race with the Ozobots in Whitemarsh Elementary’s Innovation Lab.

In the Whitemarsh Elementary School library, children are doing much more than checking out books, they also get to experiment in the library’s new Innovation Lab. “I think the most fun was the robots,” said Addison, a second-grade student at the school. “Because you get an iPad, and you can do whatever you want and make them move.” Whitemarsh Elementary’s Parent Teacher Organization raised the funds for the new innovation lab, and evening grade-level open houses were a chance for students to show their families how the different stations work. “We were doing a lot of fun activities, and we were teaching our parents what we did here, and what we do at the library every week,” said second-grader Ryan.

Part of Colonial’s STEAM culture that brings technology and engineering opportunities to students at all levels, the Innovation Lab gives children hands-on experience with the basics of computer programming, like following steps in a sequence to control a robot, and the basics of engineering, like putting parts together or making circuits. Whitemarsh Elementary served as the pilot for the K-3 level Innovation Labs.