As published in the Red Rock News
Why just check out a science book from Sedona Public Library when you can check out an entire laboratory, and books, too! Our “Connecting Community with Science” program is a huge success, with twelve interactive STEAM kits available for you to check out, enjoy, and learn. Stop in and explore your options!
What is STEAM? It is an important approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as focus areas to guide student discovery, discussion, and critical thinking. And, at the Library, it is guaranteed fun! With support from both the Library Services Technology Act* and the Arizona Community Foundation, and in partnership with the Science Vortex of the Verde Valley, we have made STEAM learning interesting, accessible, and available to all.
Each of our robust kits are perfect for any parent, guardian, grandparent, or teacher looking for novel, enjoyable, educational activities for children. They are great for learning pods, classrooms, after-school programs, homeschoolers, or anyone who is interested in learning. In fact, Shara Coughlin, Director of the Sedona Village Learning Center, has checked out some of our kits and loves to use them with her students.
“As an educator, these STEAM kits are an amazing resource. They provided a complete and cohesive way to expand the weekly lesson and integrate science into the theme in a hands-on way. You'll never have bored kids again!” Her class loved the Color & Light kit and had fun learning about light and prism. Shara appreciates the kit’s easy-to-follow structure. “It was a seamless addition to our lesson plan. We can't wait to start the next one!”
What’s in a kit you ask? Great question! All our kits include both non-fiction and fiction books related to the topic, as well as the tools, devices, games, and other materials needed to experiment, play, build, discover, and learn. For instance, The Color & Light Kit includes crystal prisms, an LED UV Flashlight, geometric solids, color paddles, and of course, books.
Another well-loved kit is the Human Body Kit. It includes the game “Operation,” a human skeleton model, an oximeter, and a stethoscope. We used this kit for our monthly “Connecting the Community with Science” program, and we created several learning stations for the kids to visit. The participants had a blast learning about and exploring the human body and some of the human body systems. The Human Body Kit is perfect for stations in classrooms or after-school programs.
Our kits are best suited for elementary school aged children and older, but children of all ages, and even adults, will love them! Other kits include Astronomy, Geology, Bubble Fun, Bird Watching, Physics, Verde River Watershed, Chemistry, and Music. They can all be checked out by an adult for up to three weeks.
A young patron from a local home-school family, Atreo, says the Geology Kit is his favorite because he loves learning about rocks. The Geology Kit includes magnifying glasses, rock collections, and the game “Rock On!” Atreo also checked out the Music Kit and after using the mini keyboard that is included, he decided to purchase his own keyboard. His mother knew it was a wise investment when she saw how much he loved the keyboard from the kit.
What else is popular? The Bubble Fun Kit, which includes everything you need to learn about bubbles, including a bubble machine, bubble wands, glycerin, and the supplies and instructions to make a giant bubble around your child.
Finally, we also have two Chromebook/Hot Spot Kits available for check out; they are so handy when you need to get connected! These are designed for families to use when they don’t have reliable internet and/or an available computer. One family checked out a Chromebook/Hot spot Kit while they were moving and wouldn’t have internet turned on for a while. They were especially grateful for this resource.
“Connecting Community with Science” has been a fun and exciting program for us, and we are proud to have this wonderful resource for local and visiting families. Please stop by and see for yourself, we’d love to share this delightful addition to our collection in Youth Services. To learn more about our kits and other STEAM programming, please visit sedonalibrary.org or call Youth Services at (928) 282-7714 x119.
*Thanks so much to our funders: the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as well as Arizona Community Foundation.
Sedona Public Library
Column for July 23, 2021
Written by Viviane Kraus, Youth Services Librarian
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.