Duke Energy grant helps launch Questers program at Carmel Clay Public Library

CIC COM 0109 Questers
Student-created avatars in the Questers lab advance on the wall to show their skill levels. (Submitted photo)

Duke Energy recently gave the Carmel Clay Public Library a $5,000 grant, enabling it to create Questers for children ages 8 to 12. The self-guided program allows kids to participate in activities focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. It’s based on a program at the Muncie Public Library.

“We were able to see the Muncie Public Library’s Digital Climbers Program about a year ago,” said Elizabeth Essink, CCPL children and youth services manager. “We are a pilot library for that program. We have made it our own. As part of that, because we knew we were going to be including activities and challenges that weren’t just digital, we called our program Questers.”

During their first visit, children create their own avatar and are given a tour of the lab.

“When the kids come in for the first time they take their avatar on an avatar quest,” Essink said. “They do stop-motion animation to familiarize themselves with the lab. Once they have their avatar and account then there is a rhythm going forward.”

Children must complete tasks in four categories. After they complete all activities in one level they move up to the next. They move their avatar up a wall of skill.

“We want this to be an accomplishment-driven program, so when they level up they get to create their own badge utilizing some of the skills they’ve developed. That goes on their avatar,” Essink said.

Activities were designed with children’s busy schedules in mind. Each one takes about 30 minutes to complete.

“Children learn when they have fun, and this encourages kids to explore, play and experiment while acquiring new skills they will use in the future,” Mark LaBarr, community relations manager for Duke Energy in Hamilton County, stated in a press release.

For more, visit carmel.lib.in.us.