STEAM education cultivates our ability to think critically and creatively solve problems through a combination of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM careers are expected to grow at more than double the rate of all other occupations by 2029. Furthermore, STEM workers earn up to 25% more than those outside of the STEM field. In Oklahoma in particular, there’s a substantial deficit in the number of skilled workers and the increasing number of STEM career opportunities. This reveals a critical need to align the talent pipeline and close the skills gap in our communities. The addition of the A to the traditional STEM acronym emphasizes the important role that the arts play in supporting design thinking approaches through creativity and innovation.
Recognizing the library as a safe space for growth and exploration, Pioneer Library System invests in the development of skills and passions through providing hands-on learning experiences with STEAM concepts and technologies. Through equitable access to quality tools and resources, PLS strives to strengthen our community's capacity to solve real-world problems through connected learning experiences that help build the computational thinking and digital literacy skills needed to succeed in the modern school and workforce environment. By offering a safe space to learn and grow with others, PLS also supports the social emotional learning of individuals, helping build the resiliency and communication skills required to effectively collaborate with others.