Bay County Scientist in Residence Project:
The Northwest Regional Library System's Bay County Scientist in Residence Project will prepare librarians and educators in the Panhandle to teach intermediate and advanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classes in their communities. Classes will target ages 10-14.
This grant-funded project will be implemented in three phases. Phase I provides training for library staff and other educators who will attend five classes taught by the Scientist in Residence (SIR). In Phase II, the SIR will teach classes for the public and he will be assisted by the participants trained in Phase I. Once the trainees have completed Phases I & II, they will teach their own classes (Phase III). Supplies for all Phases of the project are funded by the grant.
The grant will also fund the purchase of 3D printers which will be available for public use in selected NWRLS locations in August 2017. Part of the training received during this project is focused on how to create 3D designs and operate 3D printers, so staff will be able to help the public in using these printers when they become available for public use.
Our Scientist in Residence, Jason Scott, is an experienced mechanical engineer who will provide training on 3D Printers, Arduino micro-controllers, and building robots. The project website, http://www.nwrls.com/STEM_at_NWRLS.html, will be updated with the lesson plans, videos, and additional resources as the project progresses.
Follow Florida Panhandle STEM Programming Facebook Group for additional resources, to learn what the project participants are doing, find out about upcoming STEM events in your area, and to share your own STEM project ideas and success stories.
Images from Scientist in Residence Planning Meeting:
Why is STEM education important?
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are increasing and the U.S. is not producing enough qualified graduates to fill them. STEM occupations are projected to grow 17% from 2008 to 2018, and STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26% more than their non-STEM counterparts.
The need for STEM education is a national and local concern. The Florida Department of Education 2015-2016 Accountability Report shows that many students are not graduating high school with the skills in STEM subjects that will prepare them to obtain high-paying jobs when they complete their education. As educators in the schools work to improve student test scores, other agencies can help raise interest in STEM subjects by creating a positive learning climate which encourages student exploration of science, technology, engineering and math subjects.
As a key partner in education, the Public Library is committed to supporting the school curriculum while also sparking interest in STEM subjects by offering high quality classes, qualified mentors, and the equipment needed for children to design and assemble their own projects.
The Bay County Scientist in Residence project will embed an experienced mechanical engineer within the Northwest Regional Library System staff to teach advanced STEM skills which will result in more advanced STEM classes being offered to children in the Florida Panhandle. The Scientist in Residence will act as a mentor to the trainees during the grant period, so there will be opportunities for library STEM trainers to ask questions and fully understand the STEM content. Better trained librarians will provide a higher level of assistance and mentorship to the children attending STEM classes in Panhandle libraries.
Jason Scott is the owner of Scott Innovative Solutions, LLC, a one-stop-shop for all of the design, prototyping and manufacturing of mechanical and electrical systems including firmware/software. Jason is also a Sr. Mechanical Engineer at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City, where he is responsible for design engineering, systems engineering, prototyping, and consulting of many mechanical and electrical systems with the Navy.
Jason is a graduate of Mosley High School, has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University, and is studying Electrical Engineering at Florida State University. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge with others and has mentored many people of all ages through his volunteer work at the Bay County Public Library and local schools in the Bay County area.
For more information about the Scientist in Residence Project contact Robin Shader, Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-522-2109.
This project has been funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services.