The library will be closing early today, Friday, 12/14. The library will close at noon.
You are here
STEAM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
We know that an increasing number of jobs require knowledge of STEAM subjects and skills, and we want to support our community in developing the skills they need to fill them. In fact, STEAM jobs in the United States have grown tremendously in the past decade, up to three times more than non-STEAM jobs and are projected to continue growing, which means there is an economic advantage for families who possess STEAM competencies.
Additionally, personal and societal decisions increasingly require STEAM skills, as well. Whether about health, the environment, or technology, a certain level of scientific knowledge is vital to informed decision making. Therefore we work to engage our community in developing the knowledge and understanding around STEAM subjects that they need to be well-informed citizens.
For the past several years, the FFL has made it a priority to offer opportunities for community members of all ages to develop their ability to apply and integrate concepts from STEAM subject areas. We focus on empowering children, teens, and adults alike to understand complex problems and innovate to solve them.
We offer fun, immersive programs and hand-on learning around topics like robotics, engineering, digital creation, 3D design, science experiments, computer coding, and more. We also provide innovative access to the tools and technology that make these powerful learning opportunities possible. For instance, in 2010, we became the first library in the country to provide free and open access to digital fabrication tools such as 3D printers.
Because of our early adoption of and unique focus on STEAM as an organizational, community, and national priority for libraries, the FFL has been asked to speak and share our experiences and knowledge with many other practioners, including librarians, educators, and industry professionals, and has received several awards recognizing our leadership in this area.
Many of these technologies are not accessible to the general public. For instance, there is no other place locally that provides free and open access to 3D printing technology, which has the power to revolutionize society. The public library provides a safe and accessible space where anyone in the community can learn, make connections, and build the future through use of the technologies available in the space.
To further our goal of proving access to ideas, information, and STEAM learning opportunites, the FFL proudly partners with the following industy leaders:
- Girls in Tech
- ITT Tech
- HiTech Rochester
- NOVA Education
- NIH 3D Print Exchange
- Syracuse University
- Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education
We also work with Community Participants (volunteers) who donate their time to share their STEAM expertise, whether in the form of leading a club, teaching a class, offering 1-on-1 tutoring or training, or staffing our Fab Lab space.
Did you know? The FFL has been featured in the following publications:
- The Week: The Surprising Innovations of Your Local Librarians
- Information Today: Making and Community Engagement in the Library
- American Libraries: Making for STEAM Success
- Fast Company: The Internet of Things Plan to Make Libraries and Museums Awesomer
- School Library Journal: Fayetteville Free Library's Geek Girl Camp: Creating a Community of Future STEM leaders
- Library Journal: Beacon Technology Developed by Two Library App Makers
And many more!
Recent articles featuring the importance of informal STEAM learning:
- US News: After-School Programs Foster STEM Skills
- School Library Journal: In Call for Early STEM Learning, Libraries Cited as Potential ‘Charging Stations’