Howard County Library System
Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012: Research Assistance and Instruction

HiTech. Funded by a $100,000 federal STEM grant, the new HiTech STEM Digital Media Lab teaches teens to think creatively in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Comprising four tracks, HiTech begins with students informally experimenting with videos, music, game design, and mobile apps, and concludes with the HiTech Academy, where students develop and engineer projects. Details.

Rube Goldberg Challenge. More than 350 fourth and fifth grade students from 14 HCPSS schools participated in the HCLS Rube Goldberg Challenge, tripling last year’s participation. Students incorporated science, technology, engineering, and math to invent complex, wacky machines that popped a balloon. The Celebration and Awards Ceremony included a "science fair" segment, where the 58 teams explained their creations. Teams received trophies for Best Overall, Most Green, Most Scientific, Most Humorous, Most Complex, and Community Favorite. Details.

Enchanted Garden. A unique outdoor classroom located at the Miller Branch, the Enchanted Garden reinforces science, health and environmental education components of HCLS' curriculum in a fun, experiential manner. The venue features whimsical elements, such as thematic garden plots (e.g., Pizza Garden, Peter Rabbit Patch) and water features. HCLS instructors and Master Gardeners teach a variety of classes, such as Frogs and Salamanders of Maryland, Grow Your Dinner, Monet in the Garden, Herbal Apothecary, and a five-part Pizza Garden series. Details.

History Education. Partnering with the Howard County Historical Society and other organizations, the Historical Center at HCLS' Miller Branch brings history to life through research opportunities, classes and events that focus on Howard County and Maryland history. Seminars last year included The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War: A Marylander's View, Archaeology in Howard County, and Bound for Freedom's Light: The Story of the U.S. Colored Troops in the Civil War.
Annual Report FY12