Libraries have become a hub for more than just books. Through leveraging resources, libraries have worked to foster community-based learning in building critical thinking and problem-solving skills through STEM experiences.
Through offering free access to more computers, tablets, workshops, and programs, libraries are seeking to remove barriers that have prevented some who have lacked the resources from exploring STEM subjects in the past.
Whether it be developing makerspaces or implementing STEM literacy programs, libraries have become some of the most important resources for students to have meaningful STEM experiences.The Sunnyvale Public Library in California, for example, has developed its MakeHer program, which consists of two-hour hands-on science and engineering workshops for middle school girls and their mothers. The program won the 2017 Microsoft/Krause Center for Education Award for innovative teaching as well as the 2016 Library Journal Movers & Shakers Award.
Similarly, the Pima County Library in Arizona sponsors its MakerMania! STEM festival, which utilizes robotics, stomp rockets, and green-screen technology to draw interest in the libraries STEM resources.
However, there are many opportunities for STEM growth in libraries outside of these examples, ranging from 3D printing to coding to using telescopes or microscopes. The possibilities are limitless.
Learn more about STEM opportunities in libraries here: Libraries Open Doors to STEM Learning.