Children explore STEM engineering at Vinton Library

Debbie Adams

Photo by Debbie Adams: Students at the Vinton Library, led by Children’s Library Assistant Patty Kiser, conducted a STEM engineering research project to determine which column shape can bear the most weight.

Children’s librarian Patty Kiser started the new year off at the Vinton Library with a STEM engineering activity focused on building columns to hold the maximum weight in books.

She first demonstrated the weight-bearing possibilities of columns that were square, triangular, or circular in shape and then invited students to build and test their own columns. Surprisingly, circular columns generally fared the best in the competition— possibly explaining why most buildings with columns have circular ones.


The fun– and learning– continues at the library with more programs scheduled for adults, children, and teens January 15-21.

Classes for adults include:

  • Beginning Knitting, the second session of four, January 17 at 6 p.m., registration required
  • Family Search, January 17 from 6-8 p.m., registration required
  • Clay Roses taught by Vinton potter Rebecca McKeever, January 19, 6-7:30 p.m., fee $10, please register
  • Open Bridge every Tuesday 3-5 p.m., please register

Activities for children include:

  • Winter Storytimes started up again for children on January 9, with Book Bugs for newborns to age 36 months on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. and preschool story hour for ages 3-5 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
  • LEGO Club for ages 6-12, January 17 at 3:30 p.m.
  • “No Name” Book Club, January 18 at 3:30

And for teens:

  • Anime Club on January 19 from 6-8 p.m.

The library is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Call 857-5043 for information or registration for programs. Information on programs is also available at

The East County Café is now operating on the mezzanine level Monday-Thursday from 9-7, and Friday from 9 to 5 and receiving great reviews. The new coffee shop is operated by Roanoke County Parks and Recreation and will cater meetings and events at the library.



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