New! Kentucky Science Center’s Do Science at Home STEAM Kits are coming soon to the Oldham County Public Library. Starting Monday, May 17th, families can register through the events page for a free kit. This is the second kit available. Priority for kits will be given to families who did not receive the first kit. Your kit will be sent to the library of your choice. These kits are for you to keep! You can then join us for a special virtual event to learn more about the science and principles behind the activities included. Please note: These kits are designed for children in grades 3-6. The contents are designed as family activities for ages 8 and up, and may not be suitable for younger children. Two more kits (Secret Agent Kit and Artistic Chaos Kit) will be available this summer!
The kit available for sign up on May 17th is the Inventor Lab Kit. This kit will allow students to explore their inventor’s side of building, innovation and creating their own spin onto their creations. This kit also explores engineering and storytelling through creating puppets, assembling an automaton and blending light and circuitry with an LED piano.
Free, family friendly STEAM learning kits will be available at Oldham County Public Library starting May 3rd. 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. Registration is available at on the OCPL events page, starting Monday, May 3rd. 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. A new kit will be arriving in May, July, and August for continued learning and fun for families.
“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.