Awarded by the National Association of Counties
During the summer of 2015, Children’s Librarians Rachel Sharpe and Kathleen Harris offered several interactive, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-based activities for children to explore while visiting the library. Superhero Science was created whereby each activity focused on a certain superhero trait, such as sight, speed, or balance, and incorporated scientific concepts, such as friction, measurement and magnetism. A small table near the children’s desk was designated as the Superhero Science station where the eight activities were displayed on a rotating basis. The activity station was on display for a total of eleven weeks during the summer and quickly became a favorite spot in the children’s section of the library. Each activity station included easy-to-follow directions and a scientific fact sheet. Some of the activity stations allowed children to use new technology such as a digital microscope, while others used everyday materials such as cut-up cardboard squares. All activities encouraged children to use their scientific reasoning skills and promoted informal learning opportunities in the library. By the end of the summer, parents reported feeling more comfortable talking about science with their children and children discovered that learning about STEM concepts could be fun.