As the abilities of the technology we design continue to rapidly expand, kids’ STEAM skills become increasingly important. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Studies by the U.S. Department of Commerce show STEAM occupations growing at 17 percent, compared to a 10 percent growth for other occupations.

In order to help the younger generation keep up with the skills that will keep them competitive in a quickly changing workforce, Pierce County Library System is offering free STEAM activities at many of its locations across the South Sound.

“Science and technology are part of every aspect of our lives,” Pierce County Library executive director Georgia Lomax said in a statement. “Developments in these areas are important to society and the economy. Creating fun ways for kids to learn STEAM-related skills may put them on a track to a future career in the high-demand STEAM field.”

Throughout October and November, 3D printers will be at the Bonney Lake, Key Center, and Lakewood Pierce County Libraries, where visitors can design an object to be printed and watch it be created before their eyes. Other upcoming STEAM events include:

Explore and Create: Foil Sculptures

Create a foil sculpture and play with light to trace its shadow. Ages 5-12. Tuesday, Sept. 24, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Gig Harbor Pierce County Library, 4424 Point Fosdick Drive N.W.

Explore Your World: Slime

Develop lab skills and creativity. Measure various chemicals to make a ball of sticky slime. Ages 5-12. Wednesday, Sept. 25, 4-5 p.m., Buckley Pierce County Library, 123 S. River Ave. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2 p.m., Bonney Lake Pierce County Library, 18501 90th St. E.

Code Club: Strawbees Robot Race

Create a robot racer using Strawbees and race to cross the finish line first. Perfect for elementary and middle schoolers. Registration required here. Thursday, Sept. 26, 5:30-6:30 p.m., South Hill Pierce County Library, 15420 Meridian E., Puyallup.

Pacific Science Center: Super Cool Science Show

Discover what happens when things get super cool with liquid nitrogen. Watch as gases become liquids, liquids become solids and matter fizzes, freezes and flies. All ages. Friday, Oct. 18, 3-4 p.m., Orting Pierce County Library, 202 Washington Ave. S.

Bee-Bots, Blocks and More! Preschool STEAM Exploration

Learn early math concepts through play. Recommended for children ages 2-6 with a caregiver. Friday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m.–12 p.m., University Place Pierce County Library, 3609 Market Place W., Suite 100.