Ahoskie Public Library hosts ‘STEM Princess’

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2022

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AHOSKIE – The Ahoskie Public Library will host 9-year-old Ava Simmons as she presents her book, Ava Discovers her Inner Genius using S.T.E.M., at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10. She will share readings from her book and present several S.T.E.M. experiments.

Hailing from Durham, Simmons found her love of S.T.E.M. through learning about her visual learning style, which helped make day-to-day activities easier to understand, while promoting fun and engaging learning.

“Cooking food is Science, riding in a car is Engineering and Technology, and playing video games is Technology and Math,” she explains. “Through S.T.E.M., one can easily link the scientific fields with visual activities to improve reading and math literacy.”

When she was in first grade, Simmons began having problems with her school work, taking a longer time to comprehend material and provide answers in the classroom. Because of this, her teachers mistook her personal learning process as her not paying attention in class, and some of her classmates teased her for it.

Sad and discouraged, her mom and one of her biggest motivators assured the entrepreneur of her genius talent and suggested she improve her learning abilities through performing hands-on activities in S.T.E.M. Owing to her love of YouTube, her mom recommended finding kid-friendly S.T.E.M. experiment videos Ava could redesign to strengthen her skills and confidence. With the support of her family, Ava would then write her own scripts, film the completed experiments, and post it to her own personal YouTube channel to inspire other visual learners like herself.

In June 2020, Ava’s first conducted experiment was making an at-home hand sanitizer for her grandmother, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, beginning the Team Genius Squad, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to help others, like Ava, overcome personal and educational challenges through the field of S.T.E.M by unlocking their inner genius to pursue their goals.

Soon, Ava’s videos became an online success, garnering public attention from all over the world, inspiring kids like her, with features on CBS News, Fox, and NBC.

“I felt happy and proud that people were interested in viewing my S.T.E.M. experiments even though I wasn’t the best reader,” she said. “They connected with me visually and were able to understand the information that I was sharing.”

Ava will have copies of her book and other items available for purchase.

For more information, contact the Ahoskie Public Library at 252-332-5500.