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Tumbler Ridge Public Library’s STEM/STEAM program receives Canada Post support

To build, develop, and strengthen digital literacy skills in children ages 3-16.

On Wednesday the Tumbler Ridge Public Library received $2,540.37 from the Canada Post Community Foundation for an important project, STEM/STEAM Technology Kits.

The Technology Kits initiative aims to build, develop, and strengthen digital literacy skills in children ages 3-16, as well as bring families together to share in a collective learning experience. Users will be able to borrow 10 different STEM/STEAM kits, that vary in user age and experience. Basic early learner kits contain low technology items such as gears and marble runs, which introduce STEM/STEAM concepts to young children.

The kits are geared towards more experienced users and older children build upon the skills learned in the basic early learner kits and present more advanced concepts to children, such as building basic electronic circuits, coding, and robotics. Each kit leads into a higher level of technology to expand upon knowledge and skills acquired in previous kits.

Tumbler Ridge Public Library’s Head Librarian, Paula Coutts, said they are grateful to Canada Post’s Community Foundation Support for helping them get this program off the ground.

"Digital literacy has become a crucial component to everyday life; our aim with this program is to expose children to the building blocks of digital literacy in a fun and engaging fashion, to build a lasting foundation. Currently, there are no existing free STEM/STEAM kits available to children and their families in Tumbler Ridge," she said.

"We have researched the viability of usage of STEM/STEAM kits and have found that other libraries, such as the Smithers Public Library, in Smithers, BC, have successfully implemented similar programs, with high interest and usage rates. We anticipate that participants of the STEM/STEAM Technology Kits lending program will be able to develop, enhance and maintain digital literacy skills that are instrumental to their future participation in a technologically dependent world.”

Canada Post echoed the comments.

 “The Canada Post Community Foundation is proud to help organizations that are working hard to make a difference in the lives of Canadian children and youth,” said Doug Ettinger, Canada Post President and CEO.

“Through the generosity of our customers during our annual campaign, we’re able to fund incredible organizations that are focused on the complex and growing needs of young people in communities across the country.”