The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library recently wrapped up a three-month, museum-quality exhibit called Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference. We also celebrated the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. We couldn’t have done either without the amazing support of the community and our staff.

Nationally, Discover Tech was made possible by STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net), led by the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning. Exhibit partners included the Lunar and Planetary Institute, the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the American Library Association. Discover Tech was supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Locally, Discover Tech was made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of Howard County, a donation from the Friends of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, and Delphi Electronics & Safety.

We thank the school corporations in Howard and Tipton counties for bringing more than 3,000 students to KHCPL South for field trips, Kokomo Area Schools at Home for bringing their students, and the leaders of afterschool programs, such as KokomoMentum and those sponsored by the Kokomo Housing Authority, for helping us reach kids.

Every time we sought a partnership to make this exhibit possible for our community, we found people and organizations saying yes: Purdue Extension, Bridges Outreach, IU Kokomo, Ivy Tech Community College, Crossroads Learning Center, Taylor Community Schools, Western School Corp., Eastern School Corp., Northwestern School Corp, Purdue Polytechnic Kokomo, Purdue University in West Lafayette, the Women in Engineering Program, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Green Alternatives, Engineers Without Borders, Jarrell Orthodontics, Windmill Catering, and more.

If we left you out, rest assured it’s only because the list grew daily!  

From Feb. 25 until May 19, there wasn’t a single day that we did not have visitors to Discover Tech. We fully utilized and maximized the exhibit’s potential to provide hands-on STEM activities. We know we’ve made a difference in the lives of children when it comes to STEM, and we’re excited about the future.

Then a mere four days later, we opened the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. 

The Outdoor Classroom at KHCPL Russiaville was made possible by generous donations and volunteers. It’s truly a community effort. Gene and Wilma Parks bequeathed nearly $13,000 to KHCPL Russiaville, which got the ball rolling. Additional donations included a $15,000 gift in memory of Roberta Lineback, $10,000 from the Howard County Commissioners, a nearly $10,000 grant from Duke Energy, a $500 donation from the Howard County Master Gardener Association, and other private donations, including change collected by staff and students at Western School Corporation. In addition, KHCPL received in-kind donations of supplies and labor for landscaping from the Howard County Master Gardener Association, GM employees, Kohl’s Cares, and Lowe’s Heroes.

If you tire just reading this, you’ll see why we also thank our employees for their tireless effort to make the exhibit and outdoor classroom happen. Please do us one more favor: Thank them whenever you drop in at any of our locations or step onto the bookmobile. They rock!

Faith Brautigam,
KHCPL Director
and 
Doug Workinger,
KHCPL Assistant Director