Here’s another round-up of Arrowhead Library System Mini Grants that were completed in 2018 at Hibbing Public Library, Moose Lake Public Library, Lakewood Elementary School, Hibbing High School, and Laura MacArthur Elementary School:

Project: STEAM Kits

Feedback from April Larson, Hibbing Public Library Children’s Librarian

The Hibbing Public Library’s Mission Statement: The Hibbing Public Library helps everyone succeed through their mission to provide technology to access the online world, introducing children to a lifetime of reading and learning, and bringing enjoyment into people’s lives.  Purchasing these STEAM kits for out library and making a little STEAM center really helped create a learning environment around science, technology, engineering, art and design, math, and most important early literacy.  Each STEAM kit purchased with this grant was labeled with a sticker showing that this particular kit was purchased by a grant from the Arrowhead Library System.  I also purchased bins from a local store and labeled the bins to make it easier to identify, not only for the little patrons but also for us! Additionally, we have noticed many parents using these kits to engage and play with their children, which is very nice to see.  These kits have definitely facilitated parent/child bonding and learning.  Since these are passive programs in the library we have devised an incentive for the kids that do play or use the kits to come up to the desk and tell us their favorite kit in exchange for a piece of candy. We are hoping this will help us measure the usage of our STEAM Center. Some of the kits purchased with this grant were:

  • Learning Resources Playground Engineering & Design Set
  • DISCOVERY KIDS Magnetic Tile Set Building Blocks Construction Kits, 51 Piece
  • Monkey Math • KEVA: Brain Builders set of 2 by MindWare
  • ThinkFun Robot Turtles STEM Toy and Coding Board Game for Preschoolers
  • Learning Resources City Engineering & Design Building Set
  • The Trick Shot Challenge
  • Circuit Kit with Lighted Brick Magnets
  • Creative Kids Brain Flakes

A huge thank you to the Arrowhead Library System for making these grants available to our library! Thank you from all of us at the Hibbing Public Library!

Project: Pushing Chain Music Concert

Feedback from Steve Devine-Jelinski, Moose Lake Public Library Director

The Moose Lake Public Library hosted Pushing Chain in concert on October 11th, 2019. We partnered with Joe Jitters Coffeehouse across the street from our library. We had a large audience and an extraordinary atmosphere for the program. Pushing Chain were excellent to work with as well as their manager.  We were able to partner with a local business that we have not worked with before. They stayed open later than their closing time to host our program. We were able to offer food and drinks for the program, thus helping the local business make money at the same time as bringing in business. We physically spoke with attenders of the program within a week after the program to gauge the success of the show. We were not able to find one person we spoke with that had a discouraging word to say about the program. Also, by the large turnout that we received, we knew that it was a successful program.

Project: Hands On Physical Science Labs Shared Resource

Feedback from Linda Eason, Lakewood Elementary School Media Specialist

Schools have a need for usable out-of-the-box materials that support STEM curricula.  These hands on materials give students an early opportunity for using the scientific method as part of classroom experience and give teachers another alternative for presenting new information in the physical science field. This is especially important for students with non-traditional learning styles.  These materials are geared towards grades 3, 4 and 5. We have about 100 students that age and 5 classrooms for students that age at Lakewood. Each classroom has used the resource. Hands on materials are especially useful for students with a non-traditional learning style. We will also be able to use them in the future and other schools may wish to borrow them.

Project: Little Bits Coding in the MakerSpace

Feedback from Lorri Shalley, Hibbing High School Media Specialist

We were able to purchase Little Bits kits to give our students more opportunities to learn electronics and coding.  We just not received our Little Bits kits, so students have not been able to use them yet. They have been shipped, so we should have them soon. We will sponsor a “MakerSpace Challenge” right after winter break. Students will be required to use the basic Little Bits kits to complete simple tasks creating circuits and learning how they work. These tasks will each have to be checked by library staff before they can progress to the next one. Then, they will be asked to design a new invention using the little bits music or invention kit. There will be a competition, judged by staff and administration, for the best invention.

Project: STEM Robot Station Kits

Feedback from Colleen Knettel, Laura MacArthur Elementary School Media Specialist

Coding was introduced to MacArthur’s library media curriculum this year. The grant allowed us to purchase two STEM robot station kits.  The kits have provided students with hands-on opportunities to learn to code and use robots. The Code & Go Mice teach critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and teach basic coding. The Ozobots allow students to begin with basic programming concepts in a screen-free environment, using the Ozobots to read color codes on paper. As students advance, they have the opportunity to progress to using intuitive drag and drop block-based computer programming incorporating advanced concepts like variables, functions, loops, logic and conditional statements. The Ozobot curriculum was designed to support Next Generation Science Standards and will also be used to integrate learning across subject areas to encourage a deeper level of inquiry and understanding. The robots are used in teams of students collaborating to create a code to enable their robots to achieve missions. Student success is measured by their ability to successfully complete the coding lessons.