I am the librarian in a low-income, diverse, multicultural elementary school. Our students come from Yemen, Bangladesh, Bosnia, and several other countries around the world. Many have limited English language skills and face the disadvantages that come with poverty and life in a new country.
In spite of these challenges, my students love to read, learn and create.
The school library is their primary source of reading material. Students are excited to come in and check out books every week. In addition to being a hub for literacy, the library has also become a center of creative thinking for our students. We started adding makerspace materials to the library this past year, and the student response has been phenomenal. The boys and girls love to spend time constructing everything from airplanes to origami, and from houses to towers taller than they are. Their passion for both reading and making fills the library with a buzz of positive energy every day.
Although we regularly incorporate STEM activities in the library, some of the most-loved materials are in short supply. Students get frustrated when they have to wait several weeks for their turn to code with the ozobots, or they can't realize their construction vision because they run out of magnetic tiles.
Additional Ozobots, Snap Circuits, and Playmags magnetic tiles will give my students increased opportunities for hands-on learning in the library.
Being able to build a working circuit, or program a robot to complete a task brings learning to life in a way that just working solely on the computer doesn't.
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