At home at Rockwood Library
by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer
Smart, busy, an enthusiastic learner, Ethan is a charming young man—an independent learner with an infectious love of learning and a commitment to encouraging others. He is currently a high school junior and looking ahead to college. Although he lives in Damascus, he travels to Rockwood Library to volunteer. Despite the commute, it is clearly the place for him: Ethan loves science, technology, and making things, and Rockwood is the only area library with a makerspace. Ethan came to Rockwood as a Summer Reading volunteer six years ago, before the makerspace was created. After Summer Reading, he moved on to helping students with homework and assisting patrons with the library’s computers. He recalls that one especially gratifying experience was helping a patron find an apartment online.
When the makerspace opened, Ethan was recruited by Rockwood’s “awesome staff” to volunteer there. He learned CAD (Computer Aided Design) and how to use the equipment and has been an avid makerspace volunteer since.
The makerspace is a collaborative learning environment for students in grades 6-12 to learn real-life technology and engineering skills. Librarians and volunteers like Ethan offer workshops and guide students in the use of innovative technology tools like laser cutters and 3D printers. The goal is for students to become comfortable with technology and to learn by experimenting, while honing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Ethan loves experimenting and making things, and he strongly believes in the importance for kids of learning technology: “they will need it later.” Among his potential college majors are mechanical and electronics engineering, though he also loves astronomy and the space program.
As a high school junior, Ethan is enrolled in the Summit Learning Charter School’s Early College Program, through which he can take both high school and community college classes and earn college credit, with Summit paying his tuition. In addition to taking high school and college courses and volunteering at Rockwood, Ethan is a Boy Scout, working to become an Eagle Scout, and a member of Summit’s Robotics club; he also takes guitar lessons and serves as a communications assistant—doing newsletters and social media—for the East Metro Youth Advisory Council whose mission is to encourage STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). The Council meets at Rockwood Library.
A few facts about Ethan
Home library: Rockwood
Currently reading: He is not currently reading a book, but enjoys science fiction.
Most influential book: He could not think of a specific book that has influenced him however, one of his favorite books is Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans.
Favorite book from childhood: "I love all the Harry Potter books."
Book that made you cry: Where the Redfern Grows by Wilson Rawls is a tear-jerker.
Favorite browsing section: Fiction and science nonfiction
E-reader or paper? Paper book
Favorite place to read: "My room, because it is quiet and comfortable."
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