Connor Rutledge, 8, turned his pile of popsicle sticks and rubberbands into a slingshot at the Carson City Library on Thursday morning.
“I loved that I could build my own slingshot,” he said.
And even though it didn’t work quite right, it didn’t matter to him.
“It doesn’t shoot forward,” he said. “It shoots up. It’s awesome.”
Connor was among two second-grade classes that walked to the library to visit the Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference exhibit on display in the auditorium. Youth Services Librarian Matt Galli introduced the students to the displays, showcasing a variety of feats of engineering, then allowed them free time to explore on their own. He followed up with a couple of engineering-themed books and concluded with an activity in which children used popsicle sticks, rubber bands and a bottle cap to create their own catapults.
Galli gave them a sample design, but left the actual creation open.
“It’s all about engineering and using your brain,” he told them. “If you have a better idea, give it a shot.”
Rhianna Redwine, 7, and Mia Colonna, 8, took his advice.
“We’re going to do the same thing he did,” Rhianna said. “But we’re going to do a different shape.”
Bordewich-Bray Elementary School teachers Jessica Dunbar and Terrie Mondragon walked their students over together.
“We thought it would be a great field trip to help them experience science,” Dunbar said. “Engineering is so broad, but you can show the kids that if you love to build things, this could be your job. They’re getting real-life experience.”
The traveling engineering exhibit, supported by the National Science Foundation, will remain in the library’s auditorium through May 24 during regular library hours.
It is open to children, adults, families and school field trips.
“It’s bridging that gap between learning and doing,” Galli said. “It’s taking their principles they’re being taught and letting them explore. We want to get the love of engineering introduced early so we have a new generation of engineers, mathematicians and scientists.”