The Grove City Library's latest Tinker Lab activity offered youngsters the chance to give themselves a hand.

The Jan. 20 installment of the monthly program in the library's youth services department featured a Robo Hand theme.

Participants used their imagination and ingenuity to design and build a Robo Hand using construction paper, straws, yarn, tape and glue.

"There were no set instructions for how to build the hand," said library staffer Ashley Raschella, who organizes the Tinker Lab program. "Each of (the student participants) could approach the activity in their own way."

The Tinker Lab program is designed to let children explore and expand their problem-solving skills, she said.

"It's about not being afraid to fail, thinking outside the box and using creativity to solve a problem," Raschella said. "As adults, I think we tend to get stuck in a systematic approach to doing things. What's fun for me is seeing how young people are more open to finding creative ways to complete the task."

The Tinker Lab program is open to students in grades 4-7.

Michael Charter, 11, who recently moved to Pickaway County, made a return visit to the recent Tinker Lab.

"It's fun because you get to use engineering skills, which is something I really like," he said.

Michael said his father works as an engineer for a company that manufactures conveyors.

"I go there sometimes and I'm very interested in all the stuff they do there," he said. "I'd like to be an engineer someday. I think it's fun to figure out how to solve a problem."

Danica Doudna, 10, of Grove City said she was enjoying being creative.

"I like making crafts," she said. "I don't know if I would want to be an engineer. I just like how we get to come up with our own ideas for making a Robo Hand."

Danica said she had a simple formula for determining whether her project was a success.

"I'm going to use it to try to scare my cats," she said. "If it scares them, I'll be happy with it."

The next Tinker Lab activity will be held at 3 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Grove City Library, 3959 Broadway. The February theme will be Hovercrafts.

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