There are so many STEM learning opportunities at my public library. Obviously, every area has it’s own budget. In areas like mine where we pay a lot of property taxes, our library has a lot of amazing resources beyond books. At your own local library, ask your librarians what they might offer. Check your public library for help getting started with STEM. The many opportunities for STEM learning at the library may surprise you!
The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of the library is books. Obviously, the library will have books about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Ask for helping finding a book that fits your needs and I’m sure librarians will be happy to help you search.
Another awesome resource, especially for homeschoolers, is the technology training and computer accessibility. If you need to use a computer, libraries will most likely have one you can use! If you or your kids need to learn to use Excel or PowerPoint, check with your library. Mine has training programs for learning how to use them. I can ask for one-on-one time for extra assistant as well. Librarians want to help their patrons learn to access the information at our fingertips.
Visiting the library is often a STEM experience. This summer, the librarians in the children’s section had caterpillars that became butterflies. Each week, we’d visit to see how the progress. For a time, the librarians had a Venus Fly Trap plant. They always have a fish tank that my daughter loves to visit. We can’t leave the library without saying “hello” to the fish.
As a resident of my neighborhood, I also have access to expensive technologies that I otherwise would not have the chance to learn about. My library has a 3-D Printer, a Silhouette Cameo, and many more things I’ve never even seen. I can use these in the library!
My local library also has hands-on science and technology classes! My son (currently fourth grade) was able to join a class to learn how to use LEGO WeDo sets and OzoBots with other kids his age. We find these opportunities by watching the library events calendar and asking librarians.
Finally, our library has kits to checkout to take home. I’ve noticed early robotics kits, SnapCircuit kits (which we have at home too), rock exploration kits, and many more. Simpler preschool kits may include story books and a toy that relates. One example of a preschool kit is a storybook (Rainbow Fish) with colorful fish to sort and play with during or after story reading.
I hope it’s obvious that we love visiting the library! There is so much to explore beyond simple checking out books, although we do check out a fair number of those as well. Since we are frequent visitors to the library, we’ve been able to find many of the resources the library has to offer. Check with your library to see what they may have. If they are lacking, maybe this list of ideas can help them stock up on STEM learning activities at the library.
Find more ideas of things to do at the library by clicking the image below!