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Are We There Yet – Get your STEAM on in Cambridge, Ontario

If you think libraries are filled with books, think again. Or visit the Old Post Office ‘library’ in Cambridge, Ontario, now called the Idea Exchange.

First, the Grand River adjacent Old Post Office was refurbished, restoring the building’s historic character. A modern glass extension was added and wrapped around the rock façade, adding space and an accessible entrance. In July 2018, the facility opened, but not until it was filled with the latest STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – equipment to inspire young minds to write code or build video games.

Different floors cater to different ages and interests: on level two, toddler-level tables allow kids to play with tech toys or press palm-sized blocks into the wall-sized Light Bright.  Drop by and use what’s there or sign up for a Mini-Makers (ages 2 to 12) class such as candy science, recycle art or music makers.

“Visitors are welcome to all our spaces and can attend scheduled classes at the Old Post Office,” according to manager Laura Knudsen. “No library card is required to use the musical instruments, play on the Light Bright or LEGO walls, or build a pre-cut puzzle in the makerspace.”

The third floor houses the popular 3D printer and die cut machine available to Cambridge residents.

According to Knudsen, memberships are needed to use this equipment, reserve an AV room, use the VR and gaming equipment, or checkout STEAM boxes.

Innovation extends outside too. Starting September 5, the autumn lightshow projects on the building’s facade Thursday to Sunday evening at 9 pm.

Sherri Telenko is a freelance writer and blogger living in Southern Ontario. Sign up for travel ideas at www.dogtrotting.net or follow her on twitter @SherriTelenko.


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