When the primary focus of our school districts became reading and math scores, art and STEM classes were the first to get cut from the daily curriculum. My library saw this as an opportunity to provide supplemental programming to fill this gap. In fall 2016, the Zion-Benton (IL) Library District (ZBLD) opened the Sandbox makerspace for patrons of all ages to create masterpieces, explore new things, and do something amazing. ZBLD is comprised of three communities in the Northeast corner of Illinois. We serve a diverse working-class population. Our mission is simply to broaden horizons and expose patrons to the universe of knowledge and ideas for discovery, enrichment, and lifelong learning.
Posts Tagged ‘STEM programming’
Four Rio Arriba (New Mexico) Independent Libraries have been participating in the STEM to Read Program for the last three years. STEM to Read is preliteracy pilot program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as modeling skills that will help caregivers continue STEM and preliteracy education at home. The program was created by Explora! Museum and funded through a grant from the New Mexico Library Foundation and United Way of Northern New Mexico. The grant funding has run out, but three of the four libraries that participated in the pilot program are going to continue offering STEM activities.
In 2014, The Stickney-Forest View Public Library District in Stickney Illinois was awarded a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Back to Books 2 Grant, funded by the Illinois State Library. The project, entitled, The STEM Garden, aimed to provide our youth, teens, and their families with creative educational materials and innovative programming that united the common core standards with hands on experience with the STEM principles of science, technology, engineering and math. The STEM Garden encouraged families to discover and apply practical skills including gardening and the concept of slow food to their daily lives and to foster a spark of curiosity that is central to a lifetime of learning. The garden promoted awareness of how food is grown, self-esteem and a healthy lifestyle.
There is a lot going on with drones right now: people have questions about what it means for privacy, how it’s going to affect the airspace, what Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations are being put in place, examples of them being used, etc. You can certainly have these conversations with patrons at any time, but when they are able to feel the weight of the drone in their hands, look into the on-board camera, and see a quick flight demo in person, their imaginations are sparked and they begin to create their own story of what the future of technology will look like. And yes, if the patron is feeling daring enough, we’ll let them do a quick test flight for themselves—in a safe and secure area, of course.