STEM Kits spark curiosity and problem-solving

Is your child ready to learn more about STEM? 

Last month a young boy named Camahry asked to use a Snap Circuits kit at the Library, and learned how to use batteries to make the circuits work. After he completed the challenge, Camahry showed another family how to use the kit. Erin Donaldson, Youth Associate Librarian, observed how Camahry gave each of three siblings a turn after explaining very thoroughly how things worked. The snap circuits Camahry used are part of the Library’s new STEM Kits.

What are STEM Kits?

STEM Kits are a new learning experience for children and tweens. Elaine Albaugh, Youth Associate Librarian, shares that these kits are meant to spark children’s curiosity, encourage hands-on learning and collaborative problem-solving. Each kit includes prompts, building materials and supplies for science-related activities, and offers bite-sized pieces of STEM education. The Library plans to rotate these new kits to offer youth a variety of science and technology-based projects to explore.

Jill Williams, Youth Services Manager, explains that the STEM Kits are not the only opportunities for youth to learn about science. “While the Library’s STEM Corner offers kits such as Brain Flakes and Magnatiles for all ages, new STEM Kits for tweens (ages 8-11) are available at our service desk! We’re featuring 1-2 kits each month that are available to be used in the Library. The tween STEM Kits are a little more challenging, and are designed to be used with a caregiver, or by an experienced young scientist!

Where are the STEM Kits located?

The new STEM Kits can be found at Main Library at the Children’s Desk. Kits are available for In-Library use.

If your child is eager to learn about STEM, have them try out a STEM Kit! Don’t forget to tag us in your photos next time you complete a STEM challenge at the Library.

Main Library hosts Science Alive

The St. Joe County Public Library will host the thirty-first annual Science Alive on Feb. 11 (Saturday) at Main Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Through hands-on science demonstrations and fun, educational activities, children will be encouraged to explore science, technology, engineering and math. They will meet scientists, naturalists and conservationists that are making a difference in our community and will explore exhibits from nearly thirty local organizations including:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joe County   
  • Notre Dame Energy
  • Riverbend Community Math Center
  • Notre Dame Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Notre Dame Association of Women in Science
  • Potato Creek State Park
  • Potawatomi Zoo
  • St. Joseph County Parks
  • St. Joseph County Water and Soil Conservation District 
  • Studebaker National Museum

Stage shows will be held in the Leighton Auditorium at the following times:

10:30 a.m

Storm Team 16
Prepare to be mesmerized by WNDU’s First Alert Weather Team as they share the inside scoop on how weather changes are predicted.

11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m

Silly Safaris
A Silly Safaris Live Animal Show is the perfect blend of fact, fun, and humor for all ages. Enjoy a variety of reptiles, mammals, birds and bugs for an experience everyone will remember.

1:30 p.m.

No Snow Day for the Brain
Join Self-Healing Communities of Michiana to explore our amazing brains through a fun story about a brother and sister on a snow day adventure.

3:00 p.m.

Kaboomistry with the Michigan Science Center
Why do things explode? Learn about the relationships between pressure, temperature, and fuel to explain why things go KA-BOOM! We will mix physics and chemistry to get some loud, flashy effects.

Science Alive is a free program open to the entire community. It is generously sponsored by the University of Notre Dame, Foegley Landscaping and Tri City Data & Electric. Learn more at

Library hosts Explore-a-Story

The St. Joe County Public Library will host Explore-A-Story, a day-long event for children that brings stories to life. Fischoff’s award-winning ensemble, WindSync, will perform at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. as they read the book, Interstellar Cinderella. The program will be held at Main Library on Saturday, November 12 from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Children, parents and caregivers can spend the day at Main Library exploring space-themed activities, interactive storytimes and musical performances as they expose themselves to the magic of storybooks, learning and curiosity. 

The schedule is as follows:

9:15 a.m.Storytime with Miss SandyStory House
10:00 a.m.WindSync performanceAuditorium
10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.Hands-on STEM activitiesBallroom
11:00 a.m.Meet the WindSync musiciansBallroom
1:00 p.m.WindSync performanceAuditorium
2:00 p.m.Meet the WindSync musiciansBallroom

Between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, children and parents can participate in the following activities:

  • Visit the smART Box exhibit to view the history of space exploration and engage in STEM challenges.
  • Discover a planet! Participate in a scavenger hunt in Youth Services and win a space sticker!
  • Engage in interactive programs with the Notre Dame Aviation Association, Marian High School Robotics, and the Notre Dame Rocket Team in the Ballroom.

Committed to music education, Fischoff partners with its distinguished Competition alumni to deliver free, innovative music programs to Michiana’s children and youth. Fischoff distinguishes itself from all other music competitions by remaining true to its core mission to encourage and educate young musicians in the discipline and expression of chamber music. 

WindSync has established itself as a vibrant chamber ensemble performing wind quintet masterworks, adapting beloved music to their instrumentation, and championing new works by today’s composers. The quintet creates an intimate connection between themselves and their audience by often performing from memory, and is staunchly dedicated to pushing the boundaries of wind quintet performance with a youthful, pop-rock sensibility.

The Explore-a-Story program is free and open to the public. A limited number of books, including Interstellar Cinderella and other space-themed books will be given away after each performance. 

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