Throughout this issue of the Newsletter, there are several references to STEM. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. What is STEM and why does it matter to libraries? Elaine J. Hom, contributor for Live Science, describes STEM as “…a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.”
Libraries within the past decade have been a support system for STEM learning through creative programming for patrons in all age groups, from childhood through adulthood. By offering programs from 3D printing and coding to knitting and sewing, libraries are in a unique position to introduce all ages to creative learning.
While schools have built STEM into their curriculum, libraries can create programming and space for free exploration, opening up these opportunities to everyone. Over the next few months, Bethel Public Library visitors can expect to see more STEM-based programming such as 3D printing workshops for children, teens, and adults.
~Megan Dean, Library Director