STEM – Part 1

You may have heard the term STEM and thought what the heck? This term has become more common in the academic and library worlds over the last few years and they deal with a very important topic. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. In this high-tech world these are the jobs of the future and the more children and young adults that become interested in these subject areas the better equipped our country is for handling the challenges we will face in the coming years.

So, what does all this have to do with the Denison Public Library? We believe STEM is a valuable resource that our young people can use to discover new critical thinking skills and learn about these important academic areas with hands on experience. Children learn best by doing. Let a child learn about something by using their hands and they will be learning without even realizing it. This is where our STEM kits come in. Each one of our kits has a number of activities that allow a child to learn at their own pace and explore problems in different ways.

Some of our STEM kits come in clear backpacks designed for children. For instance, one of our STEM backpacks deals with the subject of wind power. This one backpack kit has 75 pieces and a manual discussing wind energy and 10 experiments that can be set up using all the different pieces of the kit. This particular kit is meant for children eight years of age and older. But don’t let that fool you. Learning these things can be fun no matter the age. They can be used by the whole family to play with and experiment with, to explore a subject that is becoming more important as a renewable resource and of course there is nothing wrong with learning about a subject just for the pleasure of it. This description can be found when you look up this item on our library website, “Assemble a wind turbine complete with electric generator and adjustable rotor blades. The blades are designed with complex aerodynamic curves to look and work like modern-day wind turbine blades. Conduct experiments with your wind turbine, including experiments to optimize its performance by adjusting the angle of the blades and the placement of the turbine. Use the wind turbine to light up an LED and charge a rechargeable battery. Convert the wind turbine into an electric fan by using the electric generator as a motor. Build four additional models with the parts included: an electric three-wheeler, electric car, electric helicopter, and electric truck.”

We will be discussing more about our STEM kits in future articles. STEM kits are a great way to get children of all ages interested in fields they may not have even considered in the past. They are fun and interesting and we believe a great addition to our library.

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