Because children are engineers, electricians, & innovators at libraries…
What’s “STEAM?” It’s an acronym for “science, technology, engineering, arts, and math,” part of a new trend toward injecting creativity into STEM learning. In a public library setting, STEAM programs and materials create opportunities for children to explore and experiment.
It is a librarian’s take on the maker movement – that making is really “crafting,” something we have had in our libraries for decades! While crafting is exciting on its own, it also ties directly into the ‘E’ in STEAM: Engineering. However, it’s not the term that’s important, but the practice of hands-on creation. “Making” means using your brain and tools to figure out how to create things.
Why do we offer STEAM programs?
STEAM programs help to spark the curiosity about how things work. From this curiosity, we can transform it into keen interest, and potentially lifelong engagement and the innovation that keeps us all moving forward.
The beauty of offering STEAM education in the library is that it’s a neutral space where students are not being graded for their participation. Libraries are rarely dictated by curricula and therefore can focus on what interests children most. In less affluent communities whose schools may not have the funding to offer Lego robotics clubs and the like, the library may be filling a major void.
By providing tools and programming tied to STEAM for children, teens, and adults, libraries can play a vital role in fostering creativity, curiosity, and a community of tinkerers.