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October 8, 2018

STEM Resources at the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library

By Jennifer Hodges, PhD, MS, MLIS

With school in session for nearly two months now, it’s not too early to start thinking about a project that can make most caregivers nervous with anticipation – the STEM fair project. STEM is an educational approach using Science, Technology, Engineering and Math as entry points for discovery, inquiry and critical thinking. STEM encourages engaging in experiential learning, persisting in problem-solving, and embracing creativity and collaboration.

Students begin learning the basic framework of the Scientific Method by participating in the STEM Fair. Deciding on a project can be the most difficult part. Children and adults can feel overwhelmed by the number of potential projects. The library can help you get a jumpstart on the STEM project search by browsing our collection of eBooks and print books here → http://bit.ly/HCPLCSTEMFAIR2018.

In addition to our collection of print materials, we also offer “Facts on File Science Online,” a powerful database full of science fair experiments. You can access this resource on our Kids page, here → http://hcplc.org/kids.

Research is an important part of STEM fair project, and our libraries can help every step of the way. Whether your student needs to check out current, up-to-date informational non-fiction books, or have web access to a wide variety of online articles and information, we have you covered. Our website provides 24/7 access from home to incredibly authoritative online resources including “National Geographic for Kids,” “WorldBook Kids” and “Kids InfoBits” for articles and other required research materials. Students can instantly access these resources using their HAAL Pass (student ID number).

Once the child has selected a project, conducted their background research and completed the first few steps of the Scientific Method, the fun can really start, as they get to design, build, and test out their experiment. Your local library can help with this too! The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library system has an extensive Realia collection available that includes microscopes, telescopes, triple beam balances and more. View our science Realia collection, here → http://bit.ly/HCPLCStemFairRealia

Even if a STEM fair project is not in your immediate future, you can engage your family and get them excited about STEM by attending one of our programs. Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library offers innovative tools, classes, and resources for new and experienced makers, creators, scientists, and innovators. Many of our locations provide you with opportunities to build a robot, pilot a drone or design and 3D print a prototype. We can teach you how to sew, solder or code. You can record the next hit song or podcast in our professional recording studios located at the John F. Germany Library or SouthShore Regional Library. Classes are available for all ages, at many library locations. View our upcoming STEM programs, here → http://hcplc.org/services/hive.

Tampa Hillsborough County Public Library is happy to be the resource where you and your family can Discover, Engage, and Transform.