By Tiffany Woods
NEWPORT, Ore. – Libraries in Lincoln County are distributing about 800 free bags of science activities for kids, thanks to a grant Georgia-Pacific gave to the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.
Over the last several weeks, Oregon Sea Grant staff, who coordinate STEM Hub activities, have been stuffing the bags with supplies and instructions, which are in English and Spanish. Depending on the intended age group, the bags can include: a magnifying glass, colored pencils, plastic specimen box, pen, journal, lanyard, rubber ball, tape measure, tweezers, eye dropper and a paper microscope called a Foldscope.
The supplies are for the activities, which feature seven daily challenges that teach kids to think critically and to observe, make, draw and deconstruct things. The activity book is at bit.ly/3kgT3Jq.
“The kids learn to think like scientists, ask questions and pay attention to their surroundings,” said Tracy Crews, the manager of Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education program and interim director for the STEM Hub. “The activities may seem simple, but they are laying the foundation for skills used in careers in science, technology, engineering, art and math.”
The activities challenge kids to:
The bags are available only to Lincoln Country residents at libraries in Toledo, Siletz, Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport and Yachats. Crews recommends that people contact their library first because the libraries are distributing the bags at different times and in different ways.
Housed at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, the Oregon Coast STEM Hub is managed by Oregon Sea Grant and is one of 13 state-funded regional hubs that prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Georgia-Pacific is one of 64 partners in the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. Visit oregoncoaststem.oregonstate.edu for more educational resources for families, students and teachers.