Good morning., I’m Amanda Jacobs Foust, Teen Services Librarian at the Novato Library in Marin County. I’d like to thank John and Becky as well as the Eureka! Mentors, fellows and staff for having me here today to speak about the Novato Library’s science and math enrichment program.
Their interest in math and science programs for youth stems from the reality that Novato has seen a clustering of the biotech and digital arts businesses, which guarantees future job growth, along with a push to attract a higher-paid scientific workforce. At the same time, the Novato Unified School District has been particularly hard hit by the ongoing California budget crisis due to their reliance on state per-student revenue. As a result, programs are being eliminated rather than created.
This program will aim to increase awareness and interest in practical applications in math and science and highlight potential career paths for community youth. Jack and Linh developed the program around experiments that inspired themselves and their fellow scientists. It was important to me that we use professional scientists working in the field as mentors and role models.
We spent 3,000 on programs and 2,000 on kits and books (1,000 each). In order to reach beyond the 80 or so teens who attend the programs and encourage continued interest and hands on education, we added science kits and recreational reading. We also provide kits to staff to use for programs.
Programs to generate interest, plus circulating materials to reinforce and reach beyond program attendees, ultimately inspiring future education and career choices.
Results determined by survey. In addition, we garnered civic and community involvement. Judy Arnold, Novato’s District Supervisor, supported the program, schools advertised and promoted the program.
Alternative name for program: the Physics of Yumminess. We added food to each program as a learning tool and incentive. All good teen librarians know: food sells.
Feedback was universally positive. Provided an important lesson to library staff. Patron’s never requested or suggested science programs in feedbacks or surveys, but the patron response and attendance, show the need and demand exists.
As a result of patron enthusiasm and in light of President Obama’s STEM Initiative, MCFL is actively pursuing ways to maintain and expand the program to include all ages on a system-wide level with a dedicated project lead.
Make It! Move It! Eat It!
Novato Library's Teen Science and Math Enrichment Program: Make it! Move it! Eat it!:An Introduction to Everyday Science<br />
Background<br /> North Bay Leadership Council’s spring economic insight report “How to Make the North Bay a Jobs Magnet,” calls for visible math and science programs for youth in grades K-12. <br />
Background<br />Inspires partnership with <br /> Physicist Jack Deslippe<br /> Engineer Linh Nguyen <br /> to develop a series of fun and inspiring school year math and science programs aimed at middle youth.<br />
Background<br />LSTA grant allows expansion to include circulating materials, including science kits and recreational reading centered on math and science.<br />
Purpose<br />middle school students to increase their interest in the study of math and science for future academic and career achievement.<br />
Results<br /> 80% of responding participants indicated they were as or more interested in pursuing a higher degree in math or science.<br />
Results<br />It was lots of fun and I'll always remember it.<br />This was a great experience. My kids came three times and loved it! Please do this again.<br />It was fantastic… really good and my son thoroughly enjoyed it.<br />
Next Steps<br />Continue the program and expand it to include all ages.<br />Identify a project lead for Science Programming <br />Expand program system-wide.<br />