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Whitman County Library and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories announce STEM collaboration for Students

UPDATE: As the first round of Brown Bag STEM kits are delivered to students,  SEL and WCL are thrilled to announce more deliveries are coming soon to Colton, Garfield, LaCrosse, Oakesdale, Palouse, Rosalia and Tekoa  K-6 students.  Thank you SEL for helping us bring STEM learning to all schools in our rural service area!!!  

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Whitman County Library are excited to announce free hands-on Brown Bag Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Kits coming to Colfax, Steptoe, Endicott, and St. John elementary students.  

Brown Bag STEM is a collaboration between Whitman County Library and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories that came together with the common goal of providing a hands-on learning opportunity during this unprecedented time of virtual learning.

SEL has generously granted $1,500 in funds to give over 400 K-6th grade students two Brown Bag STEM Kits filled with materials needed to complete STEM related design challenges and experiments.  

K-3rd grade students will receive “Marble Kit” and “Pencil Kit” that guides them through engineering design challenges like creating a marble run or balancing a pencil.  They will conduct experiments to explore scientific concepts of light refraction, potential, and kinetic energy. 

“Popsicle Stick Kit” and “Straw Kit” will go out to 4-6th grade students asking them to create straw rescue devices and popsicle stick bridges.  Exploration into scientific principles of flight and types of energy created when building a popsicle stick chain reaction.

Each kit will also include a supply of extra materials supplied by Palouse STEAM Coalition’s annual supply drive to encourage students to enhance their designs or create an Art project.

Students will be asked to send in pictures or videos of their creations from kits for a chance to win more STEM fun and a virtual visit from SEL electric-fault-seeking mascot, Radio Ranger.

Kits are being assembled now by WCL staff following recommended CDC guidelines and will be delivered to schools this week. Schools will then distribute to students.

WCL hopes to replicate this project for additional rural Whitman County students in our service area.  If you are interested in supporting this effort, please contact Nichole Kopp.

For more information on this project contact SEL Communications Manager Kate Wilhite,  or WCL Innovations Librarian Nichole Kopp, .

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