Friday, May 5, 2017


Springfield Town Library is the newest member of the VELI STEM project. The Library
joins 23 rural Vermont libraries, participating in a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the
Institute of Museum and Library Services. VELI STEM stands for the Vermont Early Literacy Initiative in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The Vermont Center for the Book, the Montshire Museum, and the Vermont Department of Libraries are the three partners who applied for the grant.  Youth Services Librarian Michelle Stinson joined her peers from around Vermont in two packed days of training April 24 - 25, aimed at developing effective and sustainable practices for early childhood programming for 3- to 7-year olds, parents, and child care providers. Stinson will incorporate the tools, language, and practices from her training as she plans activities for Build a Better World, the national summer reading program theme. Blocks, Keva planks, straws and connectors are natural ways for families to experience engineering. STEM learning by the youngest Springfield residents contributes to a robust future workforce. We hope a new generation of inventors, scientists, engineers and mathematicians develops from STEM learning in Springfield.

The first year of VELI-STEM focused on Force and Motion, Building and Engineering this year, and Air and Water next year. Children explore objects and events, learning how to ask questions and construct theories about what they see and how things work. A question like “What will happen to a ball that rolls down this ramp?” might end up in simple experiments using different balls and measuring how far each travels. Librarians encourage this investigation through the use of fiction and non-fiction picture books and discussion.