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East Gippsland Shire Library

Kylie Pinkerton & Jane Wembridge

Kylie and Jane produced 5 2-3 minute videos which demonstrated basic science experiments that children could then complete at home. The videos were releases at 4.00pm each day of science week on the their Facebook page and remain available for viewing via their YouTube channel.

Playlist of Science Week videos Jane and Kylie created

STEM is important for our community as we are a quite a distance from the metro area and opportunities are limited within our area to attend STEM activities. The STEM activities … enable children to develop an interest in various STEM concepts which could lead to further study or employment within those area.

The training was helpful as it enabled you to hear from the group different ideas of projects and also as a group we were able to support each other. The training developed in that it got you to think about different areas of program development such as marketing etc. The trainer was fantastic and also provided the opportunity for one on one discussions about your project and was helpful in providing resources or suggestions on how to improve your project.

Also developing the project as part of the training was great as it enabled you to use the skills learnt straight away

Kylie Pinkerton, Library Program Team Leader

Ballarat Library

Melissa Waight & Carly Young

Malissa and Carly created an interactive activity called “Kinetic Connection“. Drawing on inspiration from the Rube Goldberg machine, they called on tinkerers and builders to put together their own version of a chain reaction. Submissions of 10 second videos showing other chain reactions from the community were shared on their social media: YouTube and Facebook.

Compilation of all chain reaction video submissions

As a large, expanding regional centre it is important that Ballarat is a place where innovation and creativity is encouraged and facilitated. Some of our local schools have minimal STEM programs or are lacking equipment, so through our library programs we can provide students with wider access to these resources. Helping families learn and explore new concepts together is particularly rewarding.

[The training helped me most by] being able to network and be part of a group of contacts across various other regional Victorian libraries. Being able to share ideas and resources, seeing what other libraries are doing has been great. Also having access to the expertise of Museums Victoria staff has been invaluable. It has been a very supportive group of people and I’m glad we can continue to stay in touch via the Facebook group and through email.

Carly Young, Learning Services Officer

West Gippsland Libraries

Karen Bateman

Karen’s activity was called ‘What’s the Matter?‘ and was a playful look at matter and oobleck. Karen created a video explaining matter and included a demonstration with an oobleck experiment. Recording from this activity can be found on the West Gippsland Libraries Facebook page.

Karen’s STEM video about matter

STEM is the future of regional libraries. (I think.) It provides us with an opportunity to remain relevant in a changing world. It allows us to position ourselves as a community space for learning and exploration, and to engage children in order to build their confidence with, and understanding of, STEM subjects.

The training helped me in so many ways. It made me more aware of resources available to libraries, of potential funding and lending opportunities. Seeing the other projects broadened my thinking in how I approach my Young Einstein segment. The training has also made me a lot more confident in approaching other organisations to collaborate on Young Einstein projects. I’m currently collaborating with a research assistant at Melbourne Uni on a tree communication segment, this would not have happened prior to the NSW training.

I would encourage anyone doing STEM to have a go at the NSW training!

Karen Bateman, Library Officer Programs

Campaspe Regional Library Service

Natalie Stephenson

Natalie created a program called “What Does a Cockatoo do?”, based on a book by Leigh Ritchie, and focused on native animals & habitats. The program included a book reading at Kyabram Fauna Park, an interview with the author, and an informative koala video by Carolyn the Fauna Park Educator. All videos from this program can be found on Campasae’s Facebook page.

Natalie’s interview with author, Leigh Ritchie

The program was very well done, Kate presented well and the constant feedback from other participants was extremely helpful with getting ideas and improving my program. I got great tips on partnerships and marketing as well as videoing tips.

STEM programs and activities are important for the local community, to get kids problems solving and to get kids access to careers and interests they might not have out this way and adapt it to like in an agricultural/ rural setting. STEM in agriculture is important used to maximise efficiency etc- crops, breeding, machinery. STEAM projects are enjoyed by kids here of all ages from Early childhood to Primary and Secondary.

Natalie Stephenson, Branch Librarian – Kyabram

Indigo Shire Libraries

Rowena Gibb & Anne Shanley

Rowena and Anna organised “Pollination of wild plants” – a presentation by Professor Saul Cunningham from ANU, which included an expert discussion on the topic and curated questions provided from the community. All of the recorded videos form this presentation can be found on Indigo Shire Libraries Facebook page.

Professor Saul Cunningham's record presentation

Having committed experts at the helm of the training programme was an invaluable experience. Kate, Rena and all the other professionals who shared their expertise and knowledge with us.  Kate’s enthusiasm, encouragement, inclusiveness, friendly professionalism, follow up each week (particularly valuable for me because I was unable to participate in the Tuesday Zoom sessions) etc. The positive, interested, generous sharing of knowledge provided by all was a real highlight.

The chance to see and share with others in other libraries: ideas, approaches, different means of implementation for different audiences etc. It was great to have the opportunity to be part of a group interacting together because this does not normally happen in our very small rural area.

The resources and ideas provided and shared each week – I have found that I’ve referred back to and used, as just one example, for instance,, State Library of Queensland online resources. There have also been others!

The training gave us confidence because we were supported every step of the way and we felt we could reach out with any questions or concerns at any time. This enabled us to provide a worthwhile online presentation for our community.

Anne Shanley, Library Technician

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