MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Jefferson County Library District and Central Oregon STEM Hub have partnered to create and distribute 2,400 individual STEM exploration kits to youth in the community.
During a recent visit to the Jefferson County Library, Brook Rich, director of CTE and STEM at the High Desert Education Service District, was asked if she had any ideas on how the library could share hands-on learning opportunities with Jefferson County students at Warm Springs K8, Ashwood School, and the Big Muddy School, as well as homeschool groups.
The conversation turned into a budding partnership between the Jefferson County Library District and the Central Oregon STEM Hub to create unique hands-on learning kits for the county’s most rural students.
The six unique STEM kits range from Family Fitness Frenzy to Straw Structures and Catapults. The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon will be providing an additional 400 nature activity and journal kits to be distributed to youth by the Jefferson County Library District.
“This has been an amazing opportunity to partner with JCLD to serve the students of Jefferson County," Rich said. "Providing tangible learning kits during the pandemic allows students to apply the learning they are doing in an online environment to a real-world application.”
Laura Jones, assistant director of youth services for the Jefferson County Library District, said, "I am simply loving the outreach and partnerships that have happened over the last six months.
"Our goal is to reach the youth of our county, and funds are often tight. With the partnerships we are creating with the school districts and with the Central Oregon STEM Hub, we are receiving funds and opportunity to reach further out in our county.”
In addition to these efforts, the Central Oregon STEM Hub is purchasing supplies for 14 themed STEM resource kits to be available for check-out and use at the Jefferson County Library.
These comprehensive kits include materials, games, DVDs, and books. The kits are available to anyone to use as curriculum support. Please visit the Jefferson County Library’s website, www.jcld.org, for more information.
Funding to support this collaborative endeavor between the Central Oregon STEM Hub and Jefferson County Library District was provided by the Oregon Community Foundation.