If you’ve been in the Children’s Room recently, you will have noticed the addition of two wire shelving units with a sign announcing “STEM FAIR: OPENING DAY STEM KIT COLLECTION – Saturday, February 23.” This is an important day of celebration for us, and one we hope you will be excited about as well. It’s the day we place on the shelves several dozen STEM toys that encourage hands-on learning at home. That’s right: STEM toys. Today’s public library is now a library of things.
STEM education is a hot topic among educators, the media, parents and the toy industry. While the subjects that comprise the acronym STEM aren’t new, grouping these subjects – science, technology, engineering and math – into a single approach has gained popularity across the globe. If you’ve heard the term floating around but aren’t sure exactly what STEM education is or how it can benefit children, it’s time to learn about this important topic, and why toys are the perfect teaching STEM tool.
STEM education stresses problem solving and dynamic hands-on learning. In other words, children should not be passive observers, but should engage in activities that require them to think, interact with and manipulate concepts and ideas. That is why toys are the perfect teaching tool. Connecting science, technology, engineering and math in ways that kids can understand and see in a hands-on way helps them understand why these subjects are not only important but also fun. These unique STEM toys help kids see how much fun they can have with subjects that they may have previously thought of as boring.
Inspire kids to love the sciences with these STEM Kits for hands-on learning at home. Check out STEM Kits to explore a variety of science, technology, engineering and math subjects including anatomy, astronomy, biology, coding, circuity, electronics, math, nature, simple machines and robotics. Kits include hands-on activities, manipulatives, learning games or scientific equipment.
Join us for the STEM Fair Opening Day, watch as we demonstrate many of the toys (robots, electronic circuits, coding, digital microscope), learn about the engineering method with the Bridgewater-Raynham Robotics Club and enjoy a zany hour with MAD Science, 3..2..1..Energize. The fun begins at 11:30 on Saturday, February 23. STEM toy demonstrations continue from 11:30 to 1:00. The Robotics Club presents at 11:30 and Mad Science begins at 1:00. STEM kits are available for checkout by an adult cardholder beginning at 1:00. For more information call the library, 508.823.1344 or visit the Kids page on our website, raynhampubliclibrary.org.
The STEM Kit Collection is funded through the Library Services and Technology Act grant, Anytime STEM Learning, from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.