Use rapid feedback tools, such as surveys or talk-back boards, as fun and quick ways to evaluate the tweens’ experience. Use them to reflect. Celebrate your successes and look for areas of growth for your next tween STEM program!
The tweens are coming to your program to have fun – it’s not school! As they are completing their activities, encourage them to share ideas with each other through discussion prompts and open-ended questions. Practice being a “Guide on the Side” facilitator through a brief video tutorial, example questions, and printable cheat-sheet. Run through your icebreaker and STEM activity(ies) at least once before the tweens arrive.
Explore the slideshow to learn tips on how to design and promote your tween STEM program. Icebreakers and Design-Challenges are great activities to try with tweens!
STEM learning is an issue of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility facing today’s youth, with an “achievement gap” persisting between low- and high-income students. Your library can play an important role in a tween’s development by tapping into their interests and providing a safe place for them to explore new concepts. Work directly with underserved youth to understand their needs and interests. If you have a Teen or Tween Advisory Board, solicit their input early and often. Tweens bring a range of maturity levels, so plan to be flexible in what you set out to achieve. Meet potential collaborators to [...]
Staff buy-in and co-development is critical. They provide skills and community engagement know-how that is essential to STEM learning – for example, who on your staff speaks a language in addition to English? STEM can seem intimidating if you have never tried it before. Give everyone the time and materials to try a hands-on STEM activity and experience, firsthand, that you don’t have to be an expert to succeed! When facilitating STEM explorations with tweens, it may be essential to have multiple staff assisting with your program. Also, look to your community! What STEM role models in your community reflect diverse cultural and [...]