Annual summer reading challenge goes ‘geek’ with Syn Shop: The Las Vegas Hackerspace

Learning about scienceHENDERSON, Nev. – Henderson Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge begins with a kickoff event on Saturday, June 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all three main Henderson library locations: Paseo Verde Library, 280 S. Green Valley Parkway; Green Valley Library, 2797 N. Green Valley Parkway; and Gibson Library, 100 W. Lake Mead Parkway.

The kickoff event is presented in partnership with Syn Shop: The Las Vegas Hackerspace. Although details will vary by library location, scheduled activities include a deconstruction table, a vegetable organ, electric vehicles, robotics, Legos and more. The events are free and open to the public.

At the kickoff, kids and adults alike are encouraged to sign up for Henderson Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge. This challenge allows participants to earn prizes as they achieve reading goals throughout the summer. Science is this year’s challenge theme, categorized as “Fizz Boom Read” for kids from 0 – 11 and “Spark a Reaction” for older tweens and teens ages 12-17. Adults age 18 and older focus on “Literary Elements.”

“The Summer Reading Challenge provides a fun way for families to enjoy reading together – whether it’s inside escaping from the heat or down by the pool,” said Stephen Platt, manager for the Green Valley Library.

Summer Reading kickoff 2014Sponsors include The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Great Harvest Bread Co. and Shark Reef Aquarium. Other organizations participating in the kickoff events include Springs Preserve, Coronado Robotics club, Henderson Space and Science Center, and the Natural History Museum.

Syn Shop: The Las Vegas Hackerspace, a non-profit maker-space and other local volunteers and technology organizations will host tables of hands-on science- and technology-related activities. Demonstrations and activities are interactive and are geared toward children of all ages and their families. The kickoff activities are part of Generation Steam, a science and technology-related learning grant funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, and the Nevada State Library, a state agency.

LEGO cityThe Summer Reading Challenge is an annual event that encourages people of all ages and reading levels to read more. This is especially important for school-age children who often experience the “summer slide” because of a lack of reading/learning during the summer months.

The program will run from June 7 through Aug. 23. For more information or to sign up to participate in Henderson Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge, visit or call 702-492-6581.

Syn Shop: The Las Vegas Hackerspace, was started in 2008 by a group of makers, artists, innovators and inventors who decided to work together on research, development and project creation, promoting a love of collaborative learning.

Established in 1943 as a single library in Downtown Henderson, Henderson Libraries operates four locations throughout Henderson. Henderson Libraries cooperates with other public libraries in Southern Nevada, the Nevada System of Higher Education, the Clark County School District and all other libraries around the state to provide quality service for Nevada’s residents.

For additional information on Henderson Libraries, visit or call 702-492-6581.