The Importance of STEM @ the LibraryAmiee Marshall
Research shows that there is a powerful link between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and early childhood. It has been proven that children who learn STEM skills early on are better prepared for school and future careers. Libraries are considered a neutral and safe place for people to come. So, it only makes sense they would be looked to first as a place to foster creativity. According to a report released by the American Library Association (ALA), there has been an increased role of STEM education at libraries across the country.
Being naturally creative, children love to build, explore, and experiment. Programming that fosters this creativity is vital to the community. This is where libraries come into play. If the needs of children are not being fulfilled at school or home, then it is the job of the library as a community hub to provide access to these types of programs. As such, Citrus Libraries currently offers these programs at several branches. The Lakes Region Library offers monthly STEM programming, ‘STEM @ Your Library’ and ‘Kids Monthly Maker’ for school age children. Every month children can be seen building projects with Snap Circuit kits or LEGO Science kits, conducting simple science experiments, and designing gadgets to take home. The Central Ridge Library offers ‘STEAM-Powered Kids’, a monthly STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) program to help broaden the minds of budding scientists. Earlier this year the Floral City library began offering ‘Whiz-Kid Wednesdays’, a monthly program for kids designed to foster their STEM skills.
In addition to these amazing programs, Citrus Libraries launched the STEM Discovery Kits! These kits include interactive component(s), books, and activities that can guide you and your child through discovery at home. The kits are geared toward children in grades 3 through 5 and can be checked out with a library card and are great for learning, homeschooling and for reinforcing concepts taught at school. There is a total of nine themes available, including: Magnets, Coding, Electricity and more!
STEM is the future. The need for people that have innate STEM skills is just going to continue to grow. We need to foster the love of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics early on in children at the time when they are the most open to learning new things.
To learn about the programs offered throughout the Citrus County Library System, check out the online calendar at attend.citruslibraries.org/events, or you can call or visit your nearest branch. If you’re looking to stay in-the-know about all things happening at a library near you, follow @CitrusLibraries on Facebook and Instagram or sign-up at citruslibraries.org/subscribe to receive our monthly Kids Events newsletter.