Anne Lundquist, Cloquet Public Library

The theme of the CYP Unconference was STEM and the main presentation was about SciGirls and how their programs can help girls develop and maintain an interest in STEM. Some of the research surprised me, like how girls in high school have higher GPAs in math and science than boys do, but still women are underrepresented in STEM careers. The presenter, Britt Forsberg, shared some resources. Libraries can go to scigirlsconnect.org to find free activity guides and find out about scientist profiles. Libraries can also host their own SciGirls events and use SciGirls logos if the event fits some basic criteria. Even if libraries do not choose to use the SciGirls logos, they can still use the lesson plans for general STEM programming.

Other tidbits:

-A Dakota County librarian recommended using Ogobild to create a stop motion animation. She said it was one of her favorite STEM activities. The Ogo Sport Ogo Bild Animation Studio is about $50 on Amazon.

-Another librarian’s favorite STEM program is Ozo Bots. A kit costs $50 on Amazon and the company will send free lesson plans to teachers (hopefully librarians too!)

-Another librarians has had a lot of fun at her library with Family Engineering Nights. More info can be found here http://www.familyengineering.org

-Some low-cost ideas for programs are to have groups build Rube Goldberg machines out of toilet paper tubes and other odds and ends.

-Minecraft programs

-look online for Minecraft patterns for perler beads

-Make a newspaper origami box and inside put soil and seed and then plant

-Take Apart programs

-old rotary phones

-old typewriters

-make jewelry from the parts with jewelry wire and tools