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Redirection - you can find The Kid IS the Rocket STEM Grant information here, STEM Grants

Benefits of STEM in Public Libraries

"There is a push for STEM focused education is nationwide. In 2009, the Obama Administration announced its commitment to the education of today's youth and their need to excel in science, technology, engineering and math, President Obama knows that we simply cannot, as a Nation, expect to maintain our run of ingenuity and innovation-we cannot maintain that stream of new and different ideas-if we do not broaden participation in STEM to all Americans, including women and girls and minorities. To that end the Administration has taken steps to bolster the participation of these groups through in the following ways:

  • "Focusing on underrepresented groups: Engaging and broadening participation of underrepresented groups lies at the heart of many of the aforementioned initiatives, such as Change the Equation, whose third pillar focuses on increasing opportunities for women, girls, and minorities."
  • "Exposing girls and young women to STEM fields: Through innovative arrangements such as the NASA/Girl Scouts of the USA partnership, the Department of Energy's Women in STEM mentoring program and numerous other commitments agencies across the Administration and the private sector are creating opportunities for students to gain hands on experience and guidance as they navigate STEM subjects."
  • "Setting the standard with exceptional role models: Recognizing the need for more women champions and role models in STEM fields, the President has appointed a number of talented women to lead science and technology efforts for the administration, including Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar, and National Science Foundation Acting Director Cora Marrett. Many of these women have also committed to reaching out to students through the OSTP/Council on Women & Girls Women in STEM Speakers Bureau."
  • "Promoting tech inclusion: In January 2013, the White House issued a call to tech innovators to work together to ensure that all youth-particularly those from underserved and historically underrepresented communities, including women and girls-have the opportunity to study STEM subjects and participate in the technology sector."
  • "Libraries as STEM Education Centers," National Girls Collaborative Project PDF



The Kid IS the Rocket Symposium

Lego or Blocks Program Ideas for Children

Lego or Robotic Programs for Teens


Grants and Opportunities

Programs and Resources


STEM and Libraries

(Especially Small Libraries with Small Budgets)

The idea of STEM programming can be overwhelming, confusing and borderline frustrating. For small libraries one person libraries with very tiny budgets STEM can seem out of reach. There are ways to include STEM in the programs you are already doing that won't break your budget, your staff, and your volunteers. Take a look at what you are doing now. There is a 98% chance those activities include at least one, if not more, aspects of science, technology, engineering, and math. Are you building something? That's engineering and math. Are they exploring nature, tracking the planets and stars, or on your computers playing Minecraft? That's science, and technology (with some engineering and math thrown in just for fun). Don't feel as though you have to create something new. Don't think you have to add to your already busy schedule. Put your current programs under the microscope, find the STEM elements, examine them, and then figure out how you can expand them.

OK STEM in the News

"Teens are getting robotic at monthly library workshop"(The Moore American)

"Enid Public Library Gets Grant" (Enid News)

"Summer Programs Begin at Duncan Public Library" (The Duncan Banner)

"Community News 6.6.15" 'The Eastern Oklahoma District Library received “The Kid is the Rocket” grants in the amount of $4,002 for the Stanley Tubbs Memorial Library and $4,001.89 for the Muldrow Public Library from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.'

"Library receives grant" (Sequoyah County Times) Tubbs Memorial Library, Sallisaw)

"It's a small World: Editorials" (Purcell Register) (WeDo Legos)

"Minecraft Mondays begin at Duncan's library this week"

"Minecraft Mondays gives kids something fun to do" (KSWO) (Duncan Public Library)

"Maker Monday at the Altus Public Library" (Altus Times) (Altus Public Library)

STEM Articles

“Tips for Celebrating Hour of Code at Your Library: Tech Tidbits” by Phil Goerner

“’Hatch’ Library Maker Space in a Mall Attracts DIYers, Students, and Entrepreneurs” by Brigid Alverson

“A Librarian’s Guide to OER in the Maker Space” by Laura Fleming

"Small Tech, Big Impact: Designing My Maker Space" by Karen Jensen
School Library Journal School Library Journal

"Coding Skills Empower Us All: The Maker Issue," School Library Journal

"How to Ensure That Making Leads to Learning," School Library Journal

"3D Printing: Understanding Copyright Fair Use and More," School Library Journal

"How New Mexico Does Library Digital Inclusion: Meet the Makerstate Initiative"

"Teach Yourself About Electronics With These Awesome Projects" Lifehacker

Webinars: Free online learning for STEM

  • Webinar Calendar

  • Teaching Kids to Code EdWeb

  • Building an Elementary School Coding Club EdWeb

  • Coding, Robotics, & Making: Finding Money to Support Your STEM Program EdWeb

  • Building a Youth Beekeeping Program EdWeb

  • Demco Stem Curriculum

  • Teaching Kids to Code – Professional Learning Community EdWeb

  • Incorporating Character Education into Your STEM Lessons Monday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time Presented by Timothy Smith, 7th Grade Math Teacher, Cedar Bluff Middle School, Knoxville, TN EdWeb

  • Makerspaces: The Now Revolution in School Libraries Presented by Leslie Preddy, school librarian in Indianapolis, Indiana EdWeb

  • Game-Based Learning Initiatives for Secondary STEM: Four Implementation Models Much of the recent attention on game-based learning focuses on the value of playful exploration in the primary grades. Using two games developed by MIT – The Radix Endeavor and Lure of the Labyrinth – Carole Urbano and Susannah Gordon-Messer discussed the affordances of game-based learning specifically for STEM disciplines in the secondary grades. EdWeb

  • Make a Difference Now – Why Early STEM Education is Essential Students, especially girls, start losing interest in STEM subjects as early as second grade. As such, early STEM education is critical in order to build and maintain student interest in the STEM disciplines. EdWeb

  • Igniting the Spark! Build, Play, Learn – Fun STEM Activities for School Year & Summer Programs Technology Resource Teacher Laura Briggs explored ideas and resources for incorporating STEM projects and hands-on activities into science and math while integrating mobile tools. Plans and implementation ideas were shared for organizing a school-wide STEM program, STEM nights, and STEM summer camps. EdWeb

  • GamingEDU: A Fearless Approach to STEMulating Learning Activities EdWeb

  • Building Number Sense through STEM, K-2 EdWeb

  • Beyond Angry Birds: STEM Games with Research-based Evidence of Student Learning Presented by Amos Glenn, Research Associate, Computer-Human Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University Co-hosted by and the Education Division of Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) Sponsored by BrainPOP and Wowzers Your trouble finding games that engage your students while they actually learn something, especially in STEM subjects, illustrates the disconnect between the “education” part and the “games” part of educational games. “Can we combine what we know about instructional design with what we know about game… EdWeb

  • Beyond Hour of Code: How to Keep Students Engaged with Coding In this webinar, presented by the Teaching Kids to Code community on, Steven Yee, COO at EDUonGo, Inc. provided suggestions on how to facilitate coding projects and assist your students as they learn how to build software. Steven gave advice on how to help students look for solutions online while they collaborate with their peers. Find out how to keep your students engaged with code. Even if you do not have coding knowledge, you can still provide support to your students! EdWeb

  • Using Hands-on Science to Build Amazing Literature Connections In this webinar, Steve Spangler shared his creative ideas and strategies to teach hands-on science through the medium of children’s literature. Learn how to use elements of the storyline to get students to think more like a scientist. You’ll be ready to create a collection of STEM experiences your children will never forget. EdWeb

  • Tech Projects That Support Big Ideas One of the main ways to engage students in class projects is to let them pick a topic they’re passionate about! EdWeb

  • The New PBL…Merging Mobile with the MakerEd Movement The new “Project-Based Learning” merges mobile learning, maker ed, STEM, and hands-on learning into Common Core-based curriculum for students. It encourages exploring mobile environments and immersing students in nature, engineering, and experiential learning. EdWeb

  • Training Teachers on Technology What’s the best way to get teachers trained and confident in using technology? One school district shares the idea of developing a Technology Academy for teachers, with the goals of infusing more technology into the curriculum and giving teachers access to the most innovative technologies for use in the classroom. EdWeb

  • STEM and STEAM Programming for Teens in Libraries Infopeople

  • Makerspaces in Libraries: Legal Considerations Infopeople

  • STEAM in the Public Library: Programs & Services for Children Infopeople

  • STEM, STEAM, and Everything In Between Florida On-demand

  • Early STEM Learning in Library Programs for Young Children Texas Early Literacy Series

What is STEM?

"STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. We focus on these areas together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with hands-on, problem-based learning." California STEM Learning Network

Why STEM Programming in Libraries

"The National Science Board, which is the Governing Board of the National Science Foundation & Policy Advisors to the President and Congress, have outlined several facets of STEM education that librarians and educators at large need to be aware of when it comes to children. As librarians and teachers, we must first be aware of the economy that our patrons are born into and will be working in in the future. STEM programming and STEM education, as outlined in the National Science Board's action plan (PDF) discusses how while it is important for schools to educate students on the value of a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, the task cannot only fall to teachers. By becoming more involved with the standards set forth by the National Science Board, librarians can develop programming that fits into the larger STEM education goals of the nation.

In addition to school library settings, public libraries are an excellent place to provide STEM in afterschool or out-of-school settings. The less formal STEM environment provided through a public library can serve as natural reinforcement and encouragement to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills learned in school without being heavy handed. Children choose to participate in these programs based off their interests rather than as part of a class curriculum.

The value of providing STEM education in libraries extends beyond the informal educational setting. It includes the opportunity for libraries to increase community collaboration and to garner support through their commitment to educational initiatives (Hopwood, 2012). It allows libraries to reach more people and the hone skills of library staff through using inquiry-based methods with youth patrons (Cox, 2012). By engaging in STEM programming with community partners, libraries demonstrate that they are more than a book repository."

"The United States has become a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators. Yet today, that position is threatened as comparatively few American students pursue expertise in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-and by an inadequate pipeline of teachers skilled in those subjects." U.S. Department of Education

"Have you considered how often we experience STEM in our lives? Science is our natural world- sun, moon and stars...lands and, natural disasters, the diversity of nature, animals (large, small, microbial)...plants and food...the fuel that heats our homes and powers transportation...The list is almost endless. In today's world, technology means computers and smartphones, but it goes back to television, radio, microscopes, telegraph, telescopes, the compass, and even the first wheel. Yes, engineering designs buildings, roads, and bridges, but it also tackles today's challenges of transportation, global warming and environment-friendly machines, appliances and systems. We only have to look around to see what improvements to our lives and our homes have been engineered in the last decade alone. We encounter mathematics at the grocery store, the bank, on tax forms, in dealing with investments and the family budget. Every other STEM field depends on mathematics. STEM is important, because it pervades every aspect of our lives." Science Pioneers


YALSA issued a brief highlighting the benefits STEM in public libraries has for teens, Issue Brief(PDF)

"Libraries are Positioned to Leverage Community Resources "As the hub of a community, libraries have connections to schools, youth programs, local businesses and more. They have the ability to pool together a community's resources in order to effectively and efficiently deliver high impact programs. The STEM approach provides a way for librarians to connect the various STEM materials in our collections with the programs that we already have in place. Libraries are learning spaces and places where patrons come to learn information of their own volition. Coming up with new and innovative STEM programs will be a way to engage teens and younger children in your library in areas that are important in their future workplace. Library programs allow for more complete subject integration, ie STEM integration, than traditional school classrooms where most STEM education is dictated by the teacher. The library offers a judgment-free, grade-free zone where children can explore, make mistakes, and come back continuously week after week to develop more comprehensive activities, skills, and projects."

STEM Programming Toolkit


Youth Services Librarianship Wikispace

STEM Programming