STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is being incorporated not just into schools, but also libraries. After all, libraries are places where the public can explore, learn something new, interact with different people, and grow as human beings. There is also an emphasis on introducing kids to STEM at a young age, and the children’s department has a program called Preschool Science and Math that is meant to do this. Preschool Science and Math happens once every month, and children come into the programming room after a story time to do activities centered around science, technology, engineering, and math. This introduces them to concepts, but allows them to experiment with them themselves. That way, these concepts are more likely to stick with them as they move forward.
The Preschool Science and Math program that we did in April was weather related. Children and their caregivers came in to create tornadoes in a water bottle, to watch “rain” form from clouds by putting food coloring in shaving cream and water, experiment with rain sticks, and test what objects can be blown over by “wind” (blowing air through a straw). I also put my programming skills to the test and created a maze made out of Legos, and children had to guide a “cloud” through the maze by blowing through a straw. This was meant to help kids realize that clouds move because of wind. It was really interesting to watch kids react to their observations and see science as something fun and something that could be done at home with regular objects.