Monday, March 10, 2014

Recent STEAM Links

There's been such a volume of folks talking about STEM and STEAM online lately that I've been adding resources to my All Things STEAM page on a near-weekly basis over the past few months. With so much new material, and with so many libraries looking for STEAM ideas as they plan for "Fizz Boom Read" summer reading programs, I want to draw some attention to a few excellent resources that you may not have seen yet.

Libraries Doing STEAM

Little Makers at the Fayetteville Free Library - With a designated "Little Makers" space in the library and an assortment of write-ups for successful programs--on STEAM topics like space, circuits, snow, and book-making--Little Makers at the Fayetteville Free Library offers a great look into how any library can host a relatively small and simple STEAM initiative for youth.

S.M.Art Kids at Radnor Memorial Library - Programs from the S.M.Art Kids series at Radnor demonstrate just how engaging science, math, and art can be for kids when they're present in library programs. The most comprehensive array of programs on this site fall into the "Art Explorers" category--plenty of room for scientific method and asking questions to figure out how different styles of art work--but the handful of "Time Travelers" programs are great, too.

STEAM Programming Resources

Science Sparks - Looking for ideas for activities to add to your upcoming STEAM programs? Science Sparks has plenty of options for libraries looking to engage both preschoolers and school-age kids in hands-on exploration of science.

What's STEAM, and Why Do it in the Library?

What does STEM look like in preschool and what is STEM anyway? - This post on the "Teach Preschool" site is a bit older, but its content is great for anyone looking to justify STEAM or find age-appropriate STEAM activities for preschool programs. After she introduces what hands-on STEM is and why it's necessary for preschoolers' intellectual development, Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. gives some tips for folks who serve preschoolers to integrate STEM into what they do.

Q & A with David Cole: Why We Need the "A" in STEAM - Cole, an educator and curriculum developer in California, succinctly summarizes one of the big benefits of adding that arts/creative aspect to the STEM content areas. Bonus: he also touches on that whole maker thing.

NSTA Position Statement: Early Childhood Science Education - The National Science Teachers Association released their official position statement on early childhood science education--namely, what it is, what it should look like, and why it is absolutely vital if children will be able to reach their full potential in science once they start formal schooling. Some of the bulleted items in this position statement are begging to be used as soundbites for parents and administrators who may be wondering why STEAM belongs in a library.

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Have you found any STEAM resources of note in the past few months? If so, share them in the comments, please!


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