Lots of schools across the country are either considering, experimenting with or diving right in to full fledged STEM initiatives; that is to say instructional programs emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Even if your school isn't going full STEM ahead, I imagine there's movement in your district and/or state towards encouraging student exploration of these subjects and fields.
This trend, plus a recent post on the Scientific American blog, about using storytelling to attract girls to STEMcourses, got me thinking about how school librarians can support not just formal STEM initiatives, but the problem - or passion - based learning that underpins these programs.
To me it's a natural fit. If STEM is about encouraging exploration, teaching kids to ask and find the answers to meaningful questions and using resources to change the world, librarians really ought to be leading that parade. Not only do we have the skills to carry that banner, but frankly this is a shared pedagogical philosophy.
So... what are some ways that YOU can support either STEM initiatives or STEM thinking in your library?
Well... I'm so glad you asked!
Download an HQ copy HERE!
Notice, none of these suggestions require you to go get a degree in microbiology or wear a hard hat, (though I think the latter would be pretty cool!) Rather, this is about school librarians using the skills they already posses to further initiatives that encourage kids to explore their passions, solve problems, learn from failure and change their world. Plus... in addition to being super savvy in terms of proving your worth, being a partner in your school's approach to STEM has the added benefit of being really good for kids.
As always, feel free to use and share or ignore the comic/infographic as you see fit. However, if you're interested in learning more, I suggest you check out the following:
School Library Journal: STEM to Grow in School Libraries
Scientific American: To Attract More Girls To STEM Bring More Storytelling To Science
Edutopia: Passion Based Learning In Science
Chicago Journals: Reimagining the Role of School Libraries in STEM Education