STEM Programs on a Tiny Budget

Emily Zorea's "STEM Programming on a Budget: Planning High Interest Programs to Engage Families and Youth" presentation at the 2017 WAPL Conference was great! Not only does Emily have tons of good ideas, but those who were in the audience shared lots of creative ideas too.

...  I try to plan all programs for $.30 a child, and usually less.
We offer STEM each month on the 2nd and 4th Mondays since September of 2016. This consistency has helped our numbers and brought new families into the library.
I think the main reason why our STEM programs are successful is because they always feature an introduction (10-15 minutes) where I & a guest speak about our topic for that workshop. Then, for the rest of the time (30-45 minutes) the kids and families are able to participate in highly hands-on activities to experiment with the topic!

Go straight to Emily's Kids' Stem Workshops post on her Sowing Seeds Librarian blog to find how you can do these programs:

  • Bridge Engineering with Newspaper
  • Float or Won’t: Boat Building
  • Marble Maze (Push and Pull Physics)
  • Marshmallow Igloos
  • Straw Towers
  • Toilet Paper Mummies
  • Bats in flight
  • Binary Code
  • KEVA Brain Builders
  • Bridge Engineering with Legos and Engino Pieces
  • Computer Coding with Scratch
  • Catapults
  • Engino Simple Machines

You can see Emily's WAPL presentation slides, too.

And go to Program Handouts to get handouts from these other WAPL Conference presentations as well:

  • It's Not Just the Facts, Ma'am?: Creating and Marketing a Dynamite Youth Non-Fiction Collection
  • The Myth of Work-Life Balance for Library Leaders
  • This is a No Hit Zone: Promoting Healthy Kids and Safer Communities at Your Library
  • Talk It Up! Non-Fiction!
  • Teach and Be Taught: Teens in Your Library
  • Care and Feeding of the Entrepreneur
  • Sound Learning: Read-Alongs Enhancing Literacy Development
  • Genre Fiction Roundup
  • Do You Have a Grief Section? Readers Advisory to the Bereaved and in Crisis

photo credit: Straw Tower Tennis Ball Challenge by Wesley Fryer, Creative Commons license Attribution 2.0 Generic