Nitro Joe Ignites a Love for Science

By Ronelle Williams |

Published 06/03 2014 02:29PM

Updated 06/03 2014 03:08PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Libraries are usually quiet places.  But the downtown library in St. Joseph was anything but quiet when Nitro Joe demonstrated his science experiments to kids Tuesday morning.

Fizz Boom Read - that's the theme of the St. Joseph Public Library's summer reading program.  It's all about getting kids interested in learning about science.

"Hopefully, the kids go away with maybe a love of science, or an interest, or a curiosity.  And they go downstairs and they check out the science books, that's what we're hoping," said Library Children's Manager Dee Zvolanek.

While school is out for the summer, it's easy for kids to fall behind in their reading but the public library has helped keep that spark going.
"We can get them started on their summer reading program where they get prizes for reading.  They usually start coming back, they form a habit, that's what it's all about.  Getting kids into the habit of coming to the library and reading," said Zvolanek.

This initiative has already shown promising results.

"The parents, once they realize how much we have to offer, they start to come back and they really do see a difference in their kids.  They see them progress, they see them get ready for the next grade," said Zvolanek.

Nitro Joe performed science demonstrations.  But he wasn't there to just put on a show, he wanted the kids in the show as well. 

"You can understand how nature works and you can respect real science when you see it up close and personal.  So get out, do something different, get away from the screen for an hour," said Nitro Joe.

Smiles, wide eyes, and a new love for science is what Nitro Joe left kids with.

"I just hope the kids really get excited about science.  Reach in there, create your own stuff, come up with new exciting inventions.  And hey, let's change the world, that's what I want to do," he said.

Nitro Joe isn't the only event that's part of the summer reading initiative.  The St. Joseph Public Library also plans to have live animal performers and musicians as well.

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