Pierce Pioneer

Kids Need to Play

A new summer program provided for children interested in the STEM field

 

Starting this summer is a federally funded program called Kids Need to Play, where kids can learn, create and have fun using science. Kids Need to Play will provide opportunities like learning about new things within the STEM field such as animals or creating robots; there are even events for gaming, all for ages between 6-14.

 

This is an opportunity for children to get up and stretch their legs and learn to create something new. This program is also not worth a grade, it’s just for those interested in robotics and science. There are different camps for different ages, but spots are filling up fast.

 

Each day there are different events. On July 6-9 at 9:00 a.m. to noon the Snapology Jr. Scientist: All About Animals STEM camp will be held. Kids aged 4-6 can go and learn how caterpillars become butterflies. Children can also analyze how butterflies get to where they are and examine their cycle

 

For older kids, there is Game Bots robotics on July 6-9 at 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the same place. But this time the event is for kids 7-14, where kids who like to play games online get to build a game. Game Bots robotics will allow preteens to see how games are made and learn all the math needed in order to make games.

 

Another robotics camp is about building the strongest combat robot that can fight other robots built. Kids not only have to focus on building the coolest one, but also what makes a robot work. This will help kids look at the bigger picture and learn to use lab resources. 

Sign up for this opportunity by visiting their website to learn more about Kids Need To Play.

Tacoma Public Library eliminates overdue fines

The Tacoma Public Library is eliminating overdue fines as of June 1, according to South Sound Business News. Director Kate Larson during a press meeting said that overdue fees from missing or damaged items that incurred a charge as far as Jan. 1, 2016, will no longer be owed. 

“This gives patrons who have been avoiding visiting their library due to outstanding charges the opportunity to start fresh,” Larson said. “We hope that this change will let our community know that their library values them and they are welcome here.”

The library had already stopped charging overdue fines in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. TPL will continue to follow their new policy, nonetheless. 

There is a difference between fines and fees however. Fees are when the book is damaged or lost, which the library will still oversee. On the other hand, fines are when the item is overdue which is what the library is getting rid of starting June 1. So go visit Tacoma Public Library again!

Writer Lizbeth Martinez Santos shares her New Year Resolution and its potential for others to stay motivated during these hard times in 2021.

My boyfriend Victor and I made a plan together that we have followed this week. This plan consists of waking up at 6 in the morning, keeping track of the time and healthy habits such as cleaning, doing homework, drinking water, eating and exercising on schedule. This is our New Year resolution.

For many people, New Year’s resolutions are a goal or something you tell yourself you want to accomplish that year. To me it’s more than a goal; it’s a promise, something I will do. It’s not going to stay in a closed book, I will open it and fill it up with each step taken. So let’s start together!

With the right resources and people by your side, you can accomplish anything. I am no professional, but one thing we all need this year is motivation. Rather than leaving our goals in a closed book, let’s open them and fill it with each step we take! You are not alone. I write this for you because I want you to know you’re not alone just like I am not. 

2020 has taken too much from all of us and brought so much loss. According to UAB Medicine, only 8% or less Americans actually stick to their resolution each year, 2020 being partly the blame. In another article published by Stanford Medicine, it explains that due to COVID-19 many people have been having symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is due to a number of reasons, ranging from the loss of a loved one or job, to schools being closed due to the pandemic.

Knowing this information gives me more motivation to keep on going with my resolutions, to improve my health and give others an opportunity to make their own resolutions and accomplish them.

Having something or someone to remind you why you’re doing this and to push you so you keep doing it truly helps. I say this because for me personally the only reason I haven’t given up is because of Victor. 

He is my person, the one who gives me motivation to keep pushing myself. The main reason I created this resolution was to find myself again; I have lost who I was these past years due to my worsening depression and anxiety, as well as my own short-comings getting the best of me. 

Yet because of certain people in my life I was able to get back up and take control of my life again. This plan has helped me realize that I have more time than I thought to do everything I need for school or work. To organize myself to give me time to focus on my health as well.

Not only did I get happier from the plan I made. I learned from this article called, The Science of Motivation. It states that motivation not only gives us support but it’s a chemical in our brains that helps us more than we know. This chemical is called Dopamin. When we perform a task before rewarding oneself, it tells our brain that if we finish this task something good will happen. Which then goes to our whole body.

You can do so much, the first step is believing in yourself and that it’s ok to be vulnerable and to ask for help. This is one reason why I stayed on the path I am now, I kept on pushing myself to show that I am better than others think I am. I asked and looked for help, which just encouraged me more

I know times are tough right now but if you believe in yourself and push through. The results will be worth it trust me, I feel so much better and happier now that I am active and finishing my work on time. I am more organized than I was before, by putting my health before anything else made me feel so much different in a good way.

Some days are bad, and I feel like giving up. But what pushes me to succeed is knowing I am not the only one. I will keep on going to help you and give you the motivation to get up and do what you always wanted to do but never did because you thought you couldn’t. Well you can and will!

 

COVID Affecting the Holiday Spirit

How online shopping and COVID restrictions is affecting our yearly holiday festivities

This time of year my family would be overjoyed with the Christmas spirit. We’d watch movies and drink hot chocolate together as we’d happily wrap gifts for everyone. But now it’s different; I feel depressed and not in the mood to do anything festive this year.

This is especially the case after Thanksgiving, where all we did was buy food and go to my grandma’s house for the holiday. After we ate, we left because everyone was tired. This pandemic has affected my family so much, and has left many of us stressed and drained.

For me, it’s having to do schoolwork online with the pressure to pass that has affected my holidays. On the other hand, my parents are worried about money and having to work during the pandemic.

Gov. Jay Inslee put the restrictions to prevent more cases, such as limiting group sizes for gatherings or in-store shopping. Yet many people, including my family, have gone Black Friday shopping, by either using curbside pickups or shopping online. 

I thought Black Friday wasn’t going to be a big thing like the years before. However, while it was, it mostly took place online with events like Cyber Monday. But to me, shopping online isn’t the same as going to the store and picking the item out yourself, wrapping it and giving it to someone. Instead, if you shop online, you can just ship the gift to the person.

Many things have changed since the pandemic, but we can change too. We might not be able to shop like we could previously, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do for the holidays. Doing little things at home, such as baking and giving them to our families can return some of that festive spirit that seems to be missing.

One other thing people can do to make this year a little better is visit the Pierce County Light Shows, with the Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Lake Park, located on 14905 Bresemann Blvd. South, Spanaway, taking place daily from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. all the way until Jan. 3.

This can make someone’s day, even if that something is as little as baking cookies, watching a movie, or just driving around seeing Christmas decorations. So let’s not be as gloomy as the Grinch and get up. Watch something with your family and do the traditional things you would before. COVID does not have to define how you end your year.

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