MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Kids in the Muskegon area now have the opportunity to learn about coding and robotics through a new course at the Hackley Public Library. 

Staff at the library launched the robotics course this fall, teaching students about “Cue” the robot.

On Tuesday evening, an instructor sat in front of three students to teach them how to make the robot move, change colors and respond to commands via coding.

“We’re not a quiet institution. We’re not all about sitting and reading a book. We, ourselves, are flexible with how we want to meet the needs of the community,” said Lydia Schmidt, who teaches the course at HPL

While the course may be unheard of to many, it’s not the first of its kind at HPL.

“We actually have other types of robots here. We have some Lego kits called Lego WeDo and that’s for our younger kids, like maybe 7 to 12 years old. We actually have done (robotics courses) as young as 5,” Schmidt said.

Currently class sizes for the Cue robotics course are limited to four students due to COVID-19. The library says students range from age 10 to 13.

“I started learning (coding) a few years ago,” said Hannah Farber, who attended the class. “It’s been really fun and you get to learn a lot.”

Hackley staff say while they hope to inspire future engineers, there are lessons outside of robotics the course offers its students. 

“Maybe you didn’t quite pick up the coding today but you were persevering and you were problem solving and you can then take that into the classroom,” said Schmidt.

Currently the robots cannot be checked out to leave the library. The library staff says the robots can only be used during a robotics class, which students have to pre-register for.

The library says in the future, they hope to allow people to take the robots home and continue learning how to use them on their own.

Because of an upcoming staffing change, the Cue robotics course will return in the spring. However, the library says in the coming months they will still host the Lego WeDo robotics course. To sign up, call the library or reach out to them via Facebook.