STEM Learning in Libraries Summit to Take Place at Anythink

The Space Science Institute's National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL), Colorado State Library, Informal Learning Experiences (ILE) and Anythink are teaming up to host the first STEM Learning in Colorado Libraries Summit. The summit, which takes place at Anythink Wright Farms on Thursday, Oct. 30 from 10 am-1 pm, is an excellent opportunity to bring representatives from Colorado public libraries and STEM organizations together to celebrate the high-quality STEM programming and resources that public libraries currently offer. Participating organizations will also have the chance to discuss methods for increased collaboration for future STEM opportunities in Colorado's public libraries.

"We are delighted to host the STEM Learning in Libraries Summit," says Anythink Director Pam Sandlian Smith. "We have been collaborating with STEM experts, and our staff are in the midst of creating STEM learning opportunities for our community."

Robert Mac West, president of ILE, points out that "partnerships between libraries and STEM organizations facilitate broad public access to incredible science research and education resources, and provide scientists and engineers with direct contact to a broad public."

Libraries across the country have been reimagining their community role and leveraging resources and public trust to strengthen commu­nity-based learning and foster critical thinking, problem solving and engagement in STEM. Libraries have become the "public square" by providing a place where members of a community can gather for information, education programming and policy discussions. Libraries across Colorado and the country also offer a number of exciting STEM programs and activities, such as Science Saturdays, Robot Races, makerspaces, hands-on workshops and STEM exhibitions.

Paul Dusenbery, Director of NCIL and Project Director for the STAR Library Education Network is sponsoring the Summit in collaboration with Anythink. Dusenbery has been working with public libraries across the country to develop effective STEM education programs. Building the capacity of public libraries and library staff to deliver engaging, inspirational and educational STEM programs has the potential to transform the STEM education landscape across the country. What started in libraries several years ago as independent experiments in STEM programming has become a national STEM movement. This movement is now taking root in Colorado.

"The partnerships that develop from this summit will go far to provide the state's children and teens with additional fun, enriching and free STEM programming and resources at public libraries," says Colorado State Library Youth & Family Services Consultant Beth Crist.

The following organizations will participate in the summit.

Public Libraries:

  • Anythink Libraries
  • Aurora Public Library
  • Berthoud Community Library District
  • Broomfield/Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library
  • Colorado State Library
  • Denver Public Library
  • Garfield County Public Library District
  • High Plains Library District
  • Louisville Public Library
  • Park County Public Library
  • Pikes Peak Library District

STEM Organizations:

  • Colorado State University/CoCoRaHS
  • Colorado Technology Association
  • Cornerstones of Science
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science
  • Denver Zoo
  • Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
  • Informal Learning Experiences
  • National Center for Interactive Learning/Space Science Institute
  • University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
  • University of Colorado/Science Discovery
  • WOW Children's Museum