Search This Blog

Thursday, August 31, 2017

STEM kits are here!

Hopefully you've heard by now that we applied for and received a grant from the Library of Michigan to purchase STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) kits for the library. I really felt it was important to work on providing this resource to our community as i know how expensive these kits can be. I know I personally would not be able to provide such a great learning tool for my own son. With most kits costing a minimum of $30 and usually more around $50+ it just isn't always feasible to purchase something they can grow out of so quickly. By purchasing these kits for the Library it was my hope that we could provide another valuable resource for not only parents but also for teachers to explore, and utilize in their own classrooms. I know when i went home and told my oldest (almost 8) about these kits, he was beyond excited. Being able to find something to foster his constant curiosity and allow him to utilize his interest in science and engineering is such an amazing opportunity. He has been a STEM kid his whole life, always wondering the why's and how's of everything. Intelligent and mechanical he's been in love with building and taking things apart as long as i can remember. Providing kits like these to my son and other kids like him will allow them to flourish in ways simply attending school could not. The benefits of  such fun and interactive hands on learning are too many to even list. 

With the funds from the grant we were able to purchase 16 STEM kits! Since they have become available 2 weeks ago we have only had about 5 of them checked in at a time. This means about 2/3 of them are checked out, which is awesome! With so many checked out at a time it also means our Patrons don't always see all the kits we have, especially the more popular ones. Since they will not always be here at the same time, I thought people would appreciate a brief description of each kit we offer. 

Think & Learn Code-A-Pillar
Best for ages 3 - 6Y

Code-a-pillar inspires little learners to be big thinkers by encouraging preschoolers to arrange (and rearrange) the easy-to-connect segments in endless combinations, sending Code-a-pillar on his path. This learning toy encourages experimentation with fun lights and sounds while developing important skills like problem solving, planning & sequencing and critical thinking. There's no end to the combinations kids can make – mix up the segments and put them back together to send Code-a-pillar in a different direction every time. Kids can even configure the segments to make Code-a-pillar reach targets they set up throughout the room.

Code & Go Robot Mouse 

Best for Ages 5-10

The race is on to build hands-on coding skills! Build your maze, and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for Colby, the Programmable Robot Mouse. Program the sequence of steps, and then watch Colby race to find the cheese! Code & Go Robot Mouse is a unique game that teaches the basics of coding to younger children in a fun, interactive process, it also trains kids on abstract thinking, and encourages them to solve problems using algorithmic thinking, similar to skills used in computer engineering.

Create-A-Chain Reaction

Best for Pre K– 2nd Grade

This starter set lets kids set up a course and then drop a ball onto the tracks and go for the goal box! After each test run, kids will fine-tune the placement, distance and angle of each piece—getting firsthand practice with STEM concepts such as gravity, force and momentum!

Survive the Quake Engineering kit

Best for Ages 4-11

Put your building skills to the ultimate test! Build a structure using 31 pieces in various sizes and then test to see if it will stand strong during an earthquake at 5 different intensity levels. A fun way to strengthen cause-and-effect understanding while exploring earthquakes and engineering concepts.

Hydraulics Engineering
Best for Ages 8+

Explore the mechanical power of liquid in motion and build your own hydraulic machines! This kit includes 4 step-by-step activity booklets and all the reusable  building pieces kids need to create 4 different hydraulic machines. This kit helps to develop skills in hydraulics, engineering and the design process.

100 PC Magnetic Stick N Stack
Best for Ages 3+

Teach your child the basics of geometry and architecture by letting them create. Simply building with these tiles helps to build fine motor skills, develop critical  thinking skills, and sharpen math skills.                   

Real Bugs Discovery Kit  
Best for Ages 3+
Kids get an up-close look at 12 amazing bugs—from a leaf beetle to a lantern fly! Each real specimen is permanently encased in indestructible acrylic, so kids can safely explore them from every angle.  

Shark Anatomy Model

Best for Ages 8+

Build your own anatomy model of the great white shark! Includes illustrated guide, a description of the anatomy, and information on sharks. A unique puzzle challenge that inspires critical thought and mental acuity while inspiring learning through hands-on exploration!

 Squishy Human Body  
Best for Ages 8+
Explore the human body with hands-on fun as you take apart and re-assemble the 12" human anatomy model. With 9 squishy organs, 12 Bones and Muscles, Plastic Tweezers and Forceps, an Organ-Izer Poster and a 24-Page Book, your little scientist is sure to have fun. 

Gravity Maze
Best for Ages 8+
Image result for gravity maze
This gravity-powered logic maze game builds reasoning skills and visual perception. Using 60 different challenge cards, strategically place towers to create a path for your marble to reach the target. 

 Bloxels: Build Your Own Video Game 
Best for Ages 8+

Watch your game world come to life as you create and animate play spaces, characters and objects. The physical pieces in the Bloxels game set work with the free Bloxels Builder app to digitize your creations, put them on-screen and make them playable. 

Best for Ages 6+

This award winning, hands-on learning game system for thinking is truly outside the screen. Puzzlets combines hands-on play with interactive gaming to form one seamless experience, engaging the mind and teaching the player new ways of thinking.

Sphero SPRK+
Best for Ages 8+

Designed to inspire curiosity, creativity, and invention through connected play and coding, SPRK+ is far more than just a robot. Powered by the Sphero Edu app, you can easily learn programming and complete hands-on activities. Navigate a maze. Program a painting. Mimic the solar system. Swim across the water. Have a dance party… The only limit is your imagination. 


Best for Ages 8+

Image result for ozobot
Ozobot is a robot that can be programmed for action using paper and marker or its free app. Using color patterns and simple associations, you can program the Ozobot to move, play and dance through intuitive color code patterns. A fun and unique way to learn code sequence and logical behavior through music, dance and creative expression.

Snap Circuits ® LIGHT 
Best for Ages 8+
Give your child an exciting, hands-on introduction to electronics with Snap Circuits Light. This innovative kit contains over 55 color-coded, real circuit        components that snap together to create working electronic circuits and devices. With 175+ do-it-yourself projects that will give your child an           entertaining education on how electronics work.

Snap Circuits Green Kit

Best for Ages 8+
Learn about the energy sources and to "think green". Have fun learning about green energy and how the electricity in your home works with 125 different projects. Kit includes an educational manual that explains all forms of environmentally-friendly energy .