Press Release - Detail
For immediate release Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016
CONTACT: Roy L. Williams                                
Director of Public Relations             
Birmingham Public Library                          
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                        
Teens Engineer Birmingham hosts Robotics Marathon Weekend at Central Library on Nov. 5-6

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama—Teens Engineer Birmingham invites middle and high school students to program robots and eat pizza at the Central Library in downtown Birmingham.
Teens Engineer Birmingham will host its first Robotics Marathon Weekend on Saturday, Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 6 from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Hang out with us at the Central Library for a weekend of awesomeness complete with robots, programming, pizza, and our team of UAB School of Engineering students,” said Lance Simpson, system teen librarian for the Birmingham Public Library (BPL).  
It is the latest program courtesy of a $50,000 grant from the UAB Benevolent Fund that expanded BPL’s Teens Engineer Birmingham afterschool program from the Central Library to Woodlawn Branch Library, 5709 1st Ave. North, and Southside Branch Library, 1814 11th Ave. South. Woodlawn Library’s Teens Engineer Birmingham program meets with students from nearby Woodlawn High School on Mondays at 3:30 p.m. On Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m., Southside Library hosts an afterschool Teens Engineer Birmingham program for students from nearby Ramsay High School. The Central Library, 2100 Park Place, hosts its teen engineering afterschool program on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m., comprised mostly of students from nearby Phillips Academy.
BPL purchased 3D printers and other engineering equipment to expand the program after being chosen as recipient in February of $50,000 from the UAB Benevolent Fund, a grant program funded by UAB employees. Simpson and Carrie Campbell, now working in the Arts, Literature, and Sports Department and formerly grants and special projects librarian, submitted the grant application on behalf of BPL.

“Our teens are very excited, and so are the UAB students with whom we've been working,” Simpson said. “This program will encourage students to push themselves academically, and prepare them for great success in future STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) careers.”

The UAB School of Engineering has partnered with BPL’s Central Library since 2015, coordinating the afterschool engineering program offered for school children in Birmingham, including Phillips Academy downtown. Dr. Abi Yildirim, director of outreach for UAB’s School of Engineering, and UAB student mentors work with the teens participating in all three BPL library afterschool engineering programs.    
See the video link below that Simpson submitted last December which won the BPL grant from the UAB Benevolent Fund:
Lisa Higginbotham, UAB Benevolent Fund program manager, said in a statement last December that UAB is honored to support the BPL Teens Engineer Birmingham program.  
“We appreciate the work BPL does in our community and we look forward to a strong continued working relationship with BPL,” Higginbotham said. “The Community Impact Grant is a unique and engaging opportunity for UAB employees to make their voices heard and make a deep, lasting impact in our community.”
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for 129 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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