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STEAM in the Public Library: Programs & Services for Children

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STEAM in the Public Library: Programs & Services for Children Amy Koester | St. Charles City-County Library District


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Hello! Amy Koester Children’s Librarian with St. Charles City-County Library District, Missouri The Show Me Librarian Youth programs, services, and outreach


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In today’s webinar… What is STEAM, and why does it belong in my public library’s youth services? Programs for preschoolers Programs for school-age children STEAM services What you need to do STEAM, and where to find it


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What is STEAM?


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Why STEAM instead of STEM? Arts in STEAM is NOT crafts Arts in STEAM means creativity Makes STEAM more accessible, more meaningful


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Why STEAM Matters American children are lagging School & life success isn’t just about reading Creativity is a top work skill


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STEAM at the Library What’s your mission? Literacy School success Lifelong learning


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Anyone can STEAM You don’t need to be a content expert to use STEAM with library kids.


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Programs for Preschoolers


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Why STEAM with preschoolers? Natural curiosity Introduce concepts Reinforce concept knowledge Vocabulary Hands-on learning


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STEAM Stories Be intentional about your books Include non-fiction Tap the STEAM concepts in fiction Talk!


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STEAM Activities Hands-on is integral Add an experiment Use tools Make something Provide options


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Observation Stations Exploring things close-up Sensory experiences Things that grow & change Tie to books


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STEAM Programs STEAM Preschool Storytime Start with a book Talk about the STEAM concepts Ask (and answer) questions Hands-on activities Supply at-home options


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Take-Home Kits Build around a topic Pack a few books Add some songs Include activity instructions


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POLL Can you think of one of your existing preschool programs that you could modify to include a STEAM element?


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Programs for School-Age Children


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Why STEAM with school-age children? Curiosity Reinforce basic concepts Multiple literacies Creative problem-solving Developing personal interests


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Science Programs Introduce your concept Books! Images & videos! Take questions Pose a challenge Time to build Test & observe


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Technology Programs Meet kids where they are Introduce new tech Tablets & media creation Circuits & electricity Programming & gaming photo from MaKey MaKey: An Invention Kit for Everyone


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Engineering Programs Build something Give direction, but leave room for creativity Variety of materials Share examples Test & compare structures


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STEAM Programs Find the STEM potential in arts & crafts Create with atypical materials Provide context for activities


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Math Programs Don’t call it a “math program” Find the math in games Puzzles! Board games! Spatial thinking Origami Simple weaving


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POLL Can you think of one of your existing school-age craft programs that you could turn into a STEAM program?


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STEAM Services


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Displays Make them attention-grabbing! Fiction and non-fiction Range of reading levels Visual interest Realia


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Databases & Apps Highlight what you’ve got! Shelf talkers Tablet time Handouts Demo in programs photo from Digi-tots Playtime, by Stephen Tafoya


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STEAM Readers’ Advisory Things to keep in mind: Non-fiction isn’t just for homework Different ways of reading Stories with STEAM themes Pairing materials


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POLL Do you venture into the non-fiction stacks when doing readers’ advisory with children?


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What you need, and where to find it.


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Resources: Books Activity Ideas Janice Van Cleave Kids Can Press Great Publishers Pebble Plus Jump! from Bullfrog Books Authors/Illustrators Gail Gibbons Steve Jenkins


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Resources: Blogs Library Blogs The Show Me Librarian Library Makers Little eLit Abby the Librarian Other Blogs Teach Preschool PreKinders


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Resources: Websites Science Sparks Fun Science from National Geographic Kids Bedtime Math Mixing in Math Wonderopolis Pinterest (lots of STEAM boards!)


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Supplies to Start Consider your STEAM service goals Gather recyclables Procure the basics


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Funding, Grants, & Partnerships Budget No amount is too small Don’t be too modest Grants LSTA Grants Friends of the Library Private Grants Partnerships Local Businesses Local Schools


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Wrapping Up STEAM has a place in public library youth services Existing programs can be modified with STEAM aspects STEAM services means more than just programs Lots of resources are available to help


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Questions? Amy Koester @amyeileenk amy.e.koester@gmail.com http://showmelibrarian.blogspot.com


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