Hearts and electronics

February 13, 2017 GMT

MICHIGAN CITY — Valentine’s Day doesn’t often conjure images of circuits and wires.

But the staff at the La Porte County Public Library found a way to combine science learning with holiday fun and board games during a project at the Coolspring branch.

On Saturday, about a dozen kids created miniature versions of the Operation game in a project led by branch supervisor Jadie Novak.

Novak cheered when she found out that every kid not only was able to complete the project – but each had a battery pack and light bulb that worked.

This project called for a box of conversation hearts – a Valentine’s Day tradition – along with electrical tape, a wire heart, a battery pack, lightbulb and a tiny pair of pincers.

Ultimately, each kid ended up with a small box with a heart-shaped cutout lined with a wire heart. Then, they filled the box with candy hearts and were supposed to use the tiny tweezers to pull the candy out without touching the wire.

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Just as in the game of Operation, if the wire was touched, a light bulb would light glow.

"It took a long time to do," Novak said, describing the first time she completed the project on her own. "When the bulb lit up, I got so excited."

Caryn Spence and Anna Rogers both brought their children to the event on Saturday – mostly to make memories as a family, but also for the educational aspect.

"The teacher in me wants them to have the experience and the exposure," Spence said about the science learning that comes along with these craft projects. "When you think about it, they spend so much time in front of screens or sitting in school. They need hands-on creativity."

Novak said the La Porte County Public Library system tries to host different events involving technology every few months. The next, she said, will involve robots.

More information about upcoming events at all La Porte County Public Library branches is available by visiting www.laportelibrary.org.