By Gerald Ford

A Tech Expo at Masterton District Library this week was a magnet for children celebrating the first days of the school holidays.
The library gave children a chance to experience virtual reality, with VR goggles simulating the experience of riding a roller coaster, as well as to explore computer coding, robotics, the classic game of Minecraft, laser cutting in the Makecrate and more.
The expo featured from 10am to midday, and from 2-4pm, on Monday and Tuesday.
Some Meccano robots and Edison robots were on hand to be programmed and experimented with.
Digital services leader Angela McDonald said most of the technology except for the VR headset belonged to the library, and the expo was a way of inviting the public to experience it.
A grant from the educational charity Unlocking Curious Minds has allowed the library to run an outreach through Te Awhina Cameron Community House, introducing children to computer coding and other digital skills.
The popular children’s game, Minecraft, was set up in another area of the library on tablets available for the children to use.
Young Phoebe Blundell, 11, explains that Minecraft is a game “where you try to survive, and you get materials to build swords (to fight monsters) and houses for shelter”.
“You’ve got to mine to find better materials to make all your things out of.”