2021 Free STEAM Kits
Free, family friendly STEAM learning kits will be available at the Butler County Public Library starting June 14th. The Kentucky Science Center Do Science at Home STEAM Kits encourage families to learn together by exploring the world at a microscopic level, building automata puppets, learning how to use force to create artwork, build a tripwire, and understand the science behind weaving patterns. The kits are provided by a $150,000 Institute of Museum and Library Services grant from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA).
With themes like Material Master, Inventors Lab, Secret Agent, and Artistic Chaos, the kits feature activities focusing on developing Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) learning in a fun way. Each kit includes guided instruction and additional resources for continued exploration for families with students in grades 3-6.
Kit Schedule: June 14th Material Master- Kit highlights material science with embroidery, felting and weaving. June 21st Inventors Lab- Kit encourages innovation with puppetry, automata and paper circuits. July and August kits will be announced at a later date. Butler County Public Library will receive 75 of each kit to hand out this summer.
“These kits provide a hands-on experience for families in their homes in a completely screen-free way,” says Mike Norman, Chief Executive Officer at Kentucky Science Center. “After a year of disrupted learning due to the global pandemic, these fun activities offer a chance to step away from the computer and learn together in a very relaxed setting. As the state science center of Kentucky, we believe in Science for All, that everyone should have the opportunity to Do Science in fun and engaging ways. By promoting science literacy, we nurture a world of life-long learners that ask questions, work together, problem solve, and think creatively to make a better quality of life for everyone.”
“In response to the pandemic, both educators and parents teaching their children at home have been encouraged to consider alternative learning practices in order to cross the digital divide of internet access. The $150,000 grant from KDLA is one tangible way that we can help children learn through their local public libraries,” said Terry Manuel, KDLA Commissioner, State Librarian, and Archivist and Records Administrator.
“Creative experiences, such as these STEAM kits, will give young Kentucky public library patrons encouragement to move away from the computer screen and encounter science in their own homes. The kits stimulate inquisitive minds, encouraging children to seek answers to ‘why’ and ‘how’ instead of just ‘what’, and to consider the process of science instead of just the product, or the result, of an experiment. By exploring creativity through a scientific lens, reading research, and improving problem-solving skills, these kits will enrichen the learning experience and encourage a lifelong love of learning and literacy,” Manuel said.
The recent school year exposed the digital divide in which 36% of Kentucky students, roughly 240,000, lack adequate internet access, and additional gaps for families struggling across the state to implement digital learning alternatives. The Do Science at Home STEAM Kits will aid statewide and local initiatives to eliminate the learning gaps in STEAM scholastic and at home learning experiences available for students. Providing students with durable kits and guided projects will help teach and inspire students of all genders at critical ages to introduce STEAM opportunities and promote literacy through library engagement and selection of grade level reading resources helping address Kentucky’s statewide 3rd-6th grade level proficient gaps.
More than 12,000 kits will be distributed to libraries in the following counties: Boyd, Bracken, Breathitt, Butler, Caldwell, Christian, Clinton, Cumberland, Daviess, Floyd, Hardin, Johnson, Kenton, McLean, Meade, Mercer, Metcalfe, Monroe, Muhlenberg, Oldham, Perry, Scott, and Trimble. Registration for kits will be available through individual libraries in each community.
About Kentucky Science Center (KYScienceCenter.org)
Kentucky Science Center is a nonprofit educational institution that encourages people of all ages to do science in engaging, educational and entertaining ways to inspire a lifetime of learning. Designated the “State Science Center of Kentucky” by the 2002 Kentucky General Assembly, Kentucky Science Center features interactive exhibits and engaging programs for children, families and adults. Kentucky Science Center is committed to growing a scientifically literate community that investigates, questions, and challenges.
About Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
KDLA provides equitable access to quality library and information resources and services, as well as helps public agencies ensure that legislatively mandated documentation of government programs is created, efficiently maintained, and made accessible. For more information on KDLA resources, programs and services visit www.kdla.ky.gov or call 502-564-1753.
Library Hours starting Monday, June 14th
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30-4:30
Tuesday 8:30-6 p.m.