Rock Island Library Gets State STEAM Grant

Secretary of State and Librarian of State Jesse White awarded the Rock Island Public Library $1,300 through a Project Next Generation (PNG) grant to support youth mentorship in STEAM (science , technology, engineering, art and mathematics).

Entitled Your future in STEAM, the RIPL project will engage local teens with technology and help them discover future career paths in fields that use STEAM concepts, according to a library release Tuesday. The seven-month project begins in September.

“STEAM skills are an integral part of our daily lives and careers, but they can seem abstract,” said Emily Tobin, RIPL Young Adult Librarian. “Our activities will demonstrate practical STEAM applications and help teens explore possible career paths beyond high school.”

Grant-funded activities include a mix of kits and in-person events.

The hands-on kits will introduce STEAM concepts to 9-18 year olds, with activities ranging from general problem-solving skills to more specific science principles. Through in-person events and videos, the library will work with local partners to introduce teens to mentors in a variety of fields.

“At the end of the grant, our goal is to help young people recognize the skills they already have and learn about skills they might want to develop in the future,” Tobin added.

The first one Your future in STEAM kit is an airplane challenge for ages 9-18. It will be available at Rock Island Library locations starting September 8. All events and kits are provided free of charge to participants.

PNG projects have received grants from the Illinois State Library through federal Library Services and Technology Act funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Grants are awarded to public libraries serving culturally diverse, low-income, and underserved populations. For more information about library events and services, visit the library events calendar HERE, call 309-732-7323 (READ), or follow the library’s social media pages.

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