After reading “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” Mountain View Elementary Gifted and Talented students had the opportunity last year to recreate the book by building their own wind turbines with help from the Clearview Library District.
Technology Librarian Michael Ross and Outreach Assistant Tucker Valentine partnered with teacher Nancy Cox to help students design and build miniature turbines.
“We value education strongly and, especially, learning in a creative, interest-driven way,” Ross said. "For this collaboration, the library provided some materials for the project, and the teachers utilized us for helping oversee the prototyping process."
Over the course of the two sessions, students tested the energy output of their creations, working with Ross and Valentine on ways to improve and refine their designs.
"We would take an initial voltage reading of electrical output, and then go back to the drawing board to see how we could improve it," said Ross. "Every single team improved on their original design, and ultimately made changes that improved the voltage throughput that their wind turbines were making."
Feedback from the class was positive.
"I loved hearing feedback from the kids afterwards," said Ross. "Some of the parents and students said that this was one of their favorite projects that year."
This is just one example of how we collaborate with the Weld RE-4 School District. The library partners with schools in four main ways:
Through teacher requests, our staff help enrich classroom experiences with library materials or technology, focused learning challenges, and special projects and presentations. Popular library-led units include 3D printing, robotics, and coding, or special makerspace sessions in the school libraries.
By collaborating with teachers and sharing resources, we help maximize taxpayer dollars. We often provide educational technology, like Cubelets, Snap Circuits, and the Makey Makey, for classrooms. Films through Kanopy, our streaming service, and access to research databases, like Explora, provide powerful educational tools that teachers and students can use in and out of the classroom.
In 2018, the library held 440* programs or classroom visits in Weld RE-4 schools. These in-school programs touch every age and every school, from Books and More! (BAM!) — monthly lunch visits to the middle and high schools where students can check out library materials — to weekly storytime visits at Skyview and Tozer.
During the school year, the bookmobile brings library materials directly to select schools for students to access at lunch or through pre-arranged classroom time. Staff often collaborate with teachers to bring library resources that align with classroom topics.
“Library staff reinforce our district's efforts around literacy and computer science by regularly visiting our schools to help students find books they like and to share the latest robotics equipment," said Dan Seegmiller, Weld RE-4 School District Superintendent of Schools. “We are incredibly fortunate that our local library district is so invested in our students.”
*Does not include school bookmobile stops.