What is KDL LAB Experience?

KDL LAB Experience is a collaboration of programs and services for children that promote creativity, problem solving skills and unstructured ‭time to explore. ‭KDL LAB Experience can take the form of interactive space in ‭our branches, or may be a hosted program. Carefully selected learning tools and activities are ‭designed to help school-age children and teens increase their proficiency in ‭STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) disciplines. While library staff ‭are not experts in these fields, they serve as facilitators; troubleshooting as needed but mostly guiding participants in their KDL LAB Experience.


Creation of KDL LAB Experience‬‬

Launched in 2014, KDL LAB Experience ‭programs supplement formal education. Student-driven projects are aligned with schools’ curriculum based on each component of STEAM, offering children the unique opportunity ‭to relate what they learn in class to firsthand experience of applying concepts in real ‭life. While children are drawn in by cool new technology; working with tools like the 3Doodler and littleBits ‭kits, fosters the ability to troubleshoot, analyze and ‭problem solve. ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and ‭Development’s 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, ‭510,000 students representing 65 countries across the globe were ‭examined in math, science and reading. Falling far behind countries like ‭China, Japan, South Korea and Canada, the United States ranked 36th ‭in math, 28th in science and 24th in reading. By offering fun, hands-on project-based learning designed to ‭encourage curiosity and life-long learning, specifically in the STEAM disciplines, KDL is part of the solution that helps our children rise to the top!‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

How is KDL LAB Experience funded?‬‬‬

KDL LAB Experience was launched with an initial grant from Consumers Energy. Equipment is added or replaced using a combination of KDL programming funds, grants, and donations from both individuals and Friends of the Library groups.‬‬

What ages are KDL LAB Experience for?‬‬

Most KDL LAB Experience activities are geared toward elementary and middle school students. However, some equipment, such as sewing machines, require a person to be at least 14 years old to participate.  ‬‬

What should I expect when I attend a KDL LAB Experience?‬‬

Based on the activities, ‭projects offered and staff facilitators, each KDL LAB Experience is different. You ‭should expect a collection of different activities that all relate to a ‭specific STEAM concept or idea. Activities are selected to align ‭with the State of Michigan School standards and allow for creativity, ‭tinkering, problem solving, collaboration and time to explore. What you should not expect is a project where everyone creates the same thing!‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

How do I find a KDL LAB near me?‬ 

To find a KDL LAB Experience near you visit any KDL Branch and ‭pick up a branch calendar or a seasonal KDL Kaleidoscope. For a complete list of KDL LAB experience programs, visit our Events page and search for "KDL LAB." ‬‬‬‬

What KDL LAB Experiences are offered?

Below is a sampling of some of our KDL LAB Experience programs. Note that not all of the programs below are offered each season, nor are they at every KDL branch location. 

  • Building up STEAM for Fun and Discovery
  • Design Like Da Vinci
  • Forensic Science Detective
  • Get Revved Up
  • Girls Changing the World
  • Keva Planks
  • Let Loose with Lincoln Logs
  • Light Up Your Life With Paper Circuits
  • littleBits -- Learn and Invent with Electronics
  • Music Exploration with Otamatones
  • Robot Rumble
  • Scratch Programming Club
  • Shrinky, Strectchy and Silly Science
  • Snap Circuits -- Fun with Simple Electronics
  • Straw Building Bonanza
  • Take it Apart followed by Make It with Parts
  • Weather or Not
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