Public libraries have always been an important resource for their communities, providing free access to research materials, physical books, digital books, audio books, DVDs, and more. In addition to serving patrons of all ages, homeschool groups have been growing over the years, so public libraries have become even more important resource centers for families with K-12 students.
As the number of homeschoolers continues to grow, the role of public libraries is expanding to include science/STEM programs and makerspace activities to cater that the needs of these students. Many public libraries are in search of cost-effective, easy-to-implement STEM tools that can help enhance their educational outreach programs, and many have chosen to implement Merge EDU.
Merge EDU is a hands-on digital learning platform that helps students learn science and STEM effectively with 3D objects and simulations they can touch, hold and interact with. Students are able to explore a galaxy, hold fossils and ancient artifacts, explore a DNA molecule, investigate the Earth’s core, dissect a virtual frog, and even hold their own 3D creations in the palm of their hand.
Merge EDU is aligned with science standards, and comes with activity plans and other helpful resources, making it easy to implement and use for K-12 students, both at home and in their public library.
By incorporating Merge EDU into their offerings, public libraries can provide hands-on learning opportunities that engage students during their visit, by creating a virtual science lab or makerspace. They can also provide a check-out kit for families to take a Merge Cube home to explore.
The Merge Cube is available for use and check out in Broward County Public Libraries in Florida, the Midland County and Highland Park public libraries in Texas, as well as other public libraries around the US.
Merge EDU is also used in many K-12 school libraries, including the Van Meter School Library in Iowa, about 100 libraries in Dallas ISD, and more.
Merge EDU encourages curiosity in science and STEM topics, helps students visualize abstract and complex concepts, and promotes critical thinking - all integral parts of students' academic development.
Both public libraries and K-12 school libraries are centers of learning and discovery, and providing tools like Merge EDU for exploration and check out ensures that libraries everywhere continue to provide meaningful resources and educational activities for the communities they serve.