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story.lead_photo.caption Illuminating cards: Aaron Richardson and his daughter, Lauren of Harmony Grove attend the Tinker Time workshop in Smackover on Saturday. Richardson, his daughter and other attendees constructed circuits with switches while builing illuminating greeting cards for Valentine's Day. Terrance Armstard/News-Times

Nearly 30 people showed up to this month’s Tinker Time children’s workshop at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover.

Tinker Time is a monthly program sponsored by the museum that is geared toward educating youth about the various elements of the STEAM(science, technology, engineering, art, math) initiative.

“They try to come up with STEM/STEAM related topics that tie back to the museum’s mission,” Samantha Bynum, museum curator, said.

The museum is focused on spreading the knowledge of Arkansas’s natural resources with a special reference to the story of petroleum and brine.

Bynum said the museum has been doing Tinker Time for over five years, usually on the second weekend of the month.

Past topics for the workshop have included building with Legos, robots and from Junk to Jewelry. In honor of Valentine’s Day, this month students used circuits to make illuminating greeting cards.

The students utilized copper tape as wiring to create a circuit using a watch battery as a power source. Students also engineered a switch and the necessity steps to complete a circuit. In this instance, the students’ circuits were designed to turn on a light.

“What I always say about tinkering is that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” Park Interpreter Charles Licciardi said.

Michael Shine may be reached at 870-862-6611 or Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook @MichaelAZShine for updates on Union County school news.

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