Lego Clubs have been a staple of library programming for the past decade, as it’s nearly guaranteed to attract a crowd. And STEM has been proven to enrich children’s lives with its focus on hands on problem solving and critical thinking. So it’s only natural for the two to come together, as engineering is already the main focus of Lego Club. Only now it can be elevated to a whole new level, as STEM-powered Lego Club combines the mass appeal of an already popular program with analytical and scientific processes that can develop and inspire young minds. For the past few years, I’ve run my Lego Club like an engineering laboratory. Each time we meet we don’t build around a theme, but rather around a challenge. Can you build a pipeline out of Legos that can actually hold and direct water? Can you think in new directions and build on…
When you think of STEAM, do you first think about conducting science experiments and robotics challenges OR do you think about books and literacy? Most people think about the first one. After all, doing experiments is way more fun than just reading about science. Well, isn’t it?
Last month, I posted ideas for engineering programs on a budget. I hope you had a chance to try out the programs – please email me if you did! – and found a great new activity for your young patrons. I had so much fun putting together that post, I decided to turn it into a mini-series. So this month, I’ve asked librarian friends to share ideas for science programs they (and their patrons) love:
Starting in the fall, we have been trying to do BIG programming every other month in our wonderful new library. This month, we are taking on SPACE. Big programs encompass the entire children’s department– from staff to program types to decorations.
Looking for some ideas to inject a little life into your STEAM programming? Don’t have a lot of money to throw around? You may not know, but librarians are kind of a great resource for that. When I’m feeling run down and completely out of ideas, I like to check in with some of my favorite librarians – because chances are, at least one of them has an idea I’ve never used before, and probably never would have thought up without their input. So if you’re feeling a little lost, check out these engineering-focused suggestions from some of the greatest librarians I know: Kristin McWilliams, Youth Manager with Houston Public Library (TX) “In my After School Zone, we did a zip-line challenge the kids were really into. I told them they needed to make something that could hold plastic dinosaurs and attach to the line to carry them safely down….
Summer Reading 2019 No, it really is NEVER too early to be thinking about summer reading 2019! If you have the means, hire your performers super early. If it’s you, some volunteers and a great deal of cardboard, then this is the beginning of a great series of blogposts just for you! Summer reading 2019 is largely about outer space. Already ideas have been bouncing off the satellites. Here’s some to get your engines started! STARNet! STARNet was introduced to me at ALA when it hit Orlando. Since that time, I have never been let down in terms of all they have to offer, and the support they can give. Already STARNet has a whole portion of their site dedicated to – say it with me! – summer reading 2019! They’re calling it “A Universe of Stories”. And just to get your pulse running, they have a handy countdown clock…
STEAM in storytime? But of course. Science, technology, engineering, art, and math suffuse all parts of our lives.
Do you know what HoMaGo means? It stands for Hanging Out, Messing Around, Goofing Off and is commonly used to describe how kids and teens interact with and learn when it comes to technology. Research shows that when left to explore and play with tech, kids and teens can not only learn a device, but master it.