The Long Beach Public Library (LBPL) has announced the launch of the SEED Creativity Incubator, a free program aimed at providing 7th and 8th grade students with a series of arts-integrated learning experiences to enhance their creativity, problem-solving skills, and connect them with a passionate community of makers, learners, and educators. The program, which runs from late February through May 2023, offers a ten-week series of workshops in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), hosted on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon at three LBPL locations: Harte Neighborhood Library, Mark Twain Neighborhood Library, and BJK Main Library.
The SEED program is part of the LBPL’s commitment to connecting and empowering the community, according to Mayor Rex Richardson. The SEED acronym stands for STEAM Ecosystem Expansion Demonstration, and it is also used to describe other LBPL programs. The SEED Creativity Incubator curriculum is designed with three distinct learning experiences. The Foundational Workshops provide an introduction to the design thinking process and instill core 21st century skills, with a focus on collaboration, empathy, and ideation. The Discovery Workshops are led by guest educators from the community, offering students new perspectives and pathways while giving them the opportunity to apply their foundational skills to a variety of mediums and practices. The Design Thinking Workshops are a culminating project-based experience that challenges students to ideate and create a prototype design for a real person over the course of three Saturdays.
The overall curriculum structure of the SEED Creativity Incubator was designed to instill participants with concepts, tools, and skillsets that they can apply throughout their schooling, home life, and future careers. Library Director Cathy De Leon noted that “With the SEED program, we are continuing to position our library system as a partner in education throughout our city, uplifting and empowering our future generation.”
Parents can register their children for the SEED program through the library’s website. SEED is a five-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, with supplemental funding by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. The project aims to develop communities’ capacity to create and sustain high-quality, engaging, and equitable STEAM programs for underrepresented students and build arts-integrated educational pathways for a more creative and diverse workforce by fostering self and social awareness among educators and students through STEAM activities and design thinking.
In conclusion, the Long Beach Public Library has launched the SEED Creativity Incubator, a free program designed for middle school students to learn about STEAM concepts and sharpen their skills. The program is structured with three learning experiences: Foundational Workshops, Discovery Workshops, and Design Thinking Workshops. Parents can register their children for the program on the library’s website. The SEED program is part of a larger five-year project aimed at creating and sustaining high-quality STEAM programs for underrepresented students and building arts-integrated educational pathways.