The Library stands as part of a community that works together to prepare our children for future success throughout their lives. One way of doing that is focusing on STEM programming. STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, is becoming an increasing part of our everyday lives. In the United States, STEM occupations are making up an increasing share of the workforce, and as part of that preparing for the future, STEM programming has become a priority in schools and libraries.
Neuse Regional Library has committed itself to inspiring creativity, fostering learning, and engaging the community throughout its three-county region, and in order to accomplish that, the Library is offering weekly STEM Lab programming that stirs imaginations and stimulates young minds. Every Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library, children ages 10-14 are invited to participate in various STEM activities. Younger children are not left out of the fun; at 4:00 p.m. on Thursdays we are offering additional STEM-related activities for all school-age children. Parents with children under 10 should prepare to attend and assist their child in the activities.
STEM programming is not just limited to the Headquarters Library in Kinston. STEM programming, materials, and activity tables are located throughout Neuse Regional Libraries. La Grange Public Library’s weekly program is held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, while Greene County and Pink Hill Public Libraries are both offered on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. All Jones County Libraries host STEM activities on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m.
You may be wondering what a STEM Lab is like for its participants. Every week, we focus on one main activity that gives attendees a demonstration of an essential STEM principle. Examples of past events include building and testing paper airplanes, creating our own mini-books, and learning about Morse code. We also built boats to test for buoyancy, learned about algorithms through cup stacking, saw firsthand how the principles of computer programming work through human-robot coding, and even made our own basic video game levels using STEM tools. iPads and computers also play a role in programming and are available for use by children who want to further explore different websites or apps that fit the current week’s theme.
While STEM programming primarily focuses on technology, art also plays a major role in these programs in the form of creative expressions from young participants. As I mentioned above, inspiring creativity is a major part of the Library’s mission, and these programs are designed to get children thinking in unconventional ways about STEM topics and the world around them. These programs provide mental exercise that trains young minds to engage intellectually and prepare them for the critical thinking necessary for long-term success.
STEM programming will be offered throughout the school year alongside all of the other wonderful programs we offer children and teens at our Library. For more information on any of these programs or library services, please call 252-527-7066, Ext. 133 or visit www.neuselibrary.org.