Introducing our new S.T.E.A.M. Station
for kids and teens!
What is S.T.E.A.M. and why is it important?
S.T.E.A.M. stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. In schools and libraries across the country, S.T.E.A.M. is the exciting new approach to learning! Our new S.T.E.A.M. Station allows kids and teens to explore these areas anytime they come in the library!
Available S.T.E.A.M. Kits
Makey Makey is an electronics kit that allows kids to connect ordinary objects to a computer and use these objects to control computer programs and functions in place of the keyboard and mouse. Alligator clips are used to connect the objects to a circuit board (which is plugged into the computer via a USB cable) that maps to individual computer keys (ex. the arrow keys and space bar) so that when the object is touched it will perform the function of that key. In this kit, kids will also be learning about electrical conductivity and the scientific method by experimenting with the objects included in the kit & others that they find around the library to determine which objects can be successfully used with the Makey Makey. Makey Makey will work with any website or computer program that uses keyboard controls.
Ozobots are tiny robots that kids can control by drawing lines and color sequence codes to direct the robot’s actions. Playing with Ozobots helps support STEAM and computer science learning by providing a basic introduction to concepts like coding and the use of a programming language (the Ozobot uses a color language to read and execute commands). This kit includes two Ozobot robots for kids to play and learn with, an instruction packet and challenge cards to guide learning, and markers & blank paper for kids to draw their own paths for the Ozobots to follow.
Cubelets are a modular robotics kit that allow kids to build simple robots out of magnetically connecting cubes. Each cube in the kit has a specific function/ability that kids can combine to create robots that perform a range of actions in response to different stimuli. There are 3 main types of cubes – Sense, Action, and Think. This kit also includes several different challenge cards of different difficulty levels that will challenge kids to build robots that fit specific criteria and help develop problem solving skills.
LEGO Simple Machines
The Lego Simple Machines Kit is a special Lego Education kit designed to introduce kids to simple machines, specifically gears, wheels & axles, levers, and pulleys. There is a separate instruction booklet for each type of simple machine, guiding kids to build different types of devices of increasing difficulty to build familiarity with the way in which each simple machine functions. Kids are encouraged to try building some of the machines outlined in the instruction booklets before moving on to designing and building their own machines.
S.T.E.A.M. kits are for in-library use only.
S.T.E.A.M. Station kits provided through the Senator DeFrancisco Cultural Programming Grant.
Books to Check Out!
Continue learning and playing at home when you check out any of these books from our S.T.E.A.M. Station collection.
Learn more about S.T.E.A.M.
The following articles provide more information about S.T.E.A.M. education and its importance in today's schools and libraries.
Feldman, Anna. "Why We Need to Put the Arts Into STEM Education." Slate Magazine. 16 June 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2017
Koester, Amy. "Full STEAM Ahead: Injecting Art and Creativity into STEM." School Library Journal (October 2013): School Library Journal. 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
Ainissa Ramirez. "Creativity Is the Secret Sauce in STEM." Edutopia. 21 Aug. 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.