G.E.M. Environmental is excited to share another new addition to our monthly blog series - Science Stories. Each month, we interview a STEM scholar, student, or community member and ask them things like why they believe the STEM fields are important, how they got started in their field, to what they would do if they hit the jackpot. We hope that our new blog series will inspire, introduce a variety of fields, and create new conversations.
Our guest this month is Amy Finson, Youth Services Librarian at the Prescott Public Library in Prescott, Arizona. Before moving to Prescott and pursuing her master’s degree in Library Science, she was a middle school teacher in Houston, Texas. Amy is passionate about providing young people with authentic learning experiences and opportunities to explore their interests and develop skills for lifelong success!
Why do you believe that the STEM fields are important?
I believe that the STEM fields are vital because they provide answers and opportunities as well as generate ever more questions to help us live our best lives and ensure that future generations can do the same.
How and why did you get involved in the STEM fields?
My father is an aerospace engineer and my brother was the kid who took things apart to see how they worked, so STEM was always part of my life but more tangentially than not. When I began teaching middle schoolers, my involvement with STEM became more intentional; I often implemented STEM “challenges” to support a growth mindset in my classroom. Now, in my role as a children’s librarian, I facilitate the library’s Outdoors Explorer Club which uses STEM to provide hands-on nature learning activities for school age children.
What inspires you in your current position/role?
Not only do I work with some truly progressive and creative individuals at the Prescott Public Library, the young people who come to the library are just so wonderfully imaginative! Whether they are building with LEGOs or experimenting with new tech, I feel inspired by their eagerness to tinker and explore new ideas and new ways of doing things.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
I am currently working on developing the library’s teaching garden with the Outdoors Explorer Club (comprised of children, ages 8-12), which incorporates a rainwater harvesting system. Prescott has received some good rain over the past week, so conditions are favorable!
What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you?
I think a lot of people who know me might be surprised to learn that I recently joined Toastmasters. I am a big talker and I enjoy interacting with people, but there is just something about speaking in front of an audience of adults that makes me quake in my shoes.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
The funniest thing that happened to me recently was at a meeting of the Outdoors Explorer Club. The kids were digging in the garden and came upon a giant beetle. It was so still, we thought it was dead. As one of the kids held it up for me to see, the beetle stirred. I screamed. The kids screamed. The beetle went flying. It was hilarious!
Thanks for sharing, Amy. It's great to hear about the educational STEM opportunities you help provide in the community!
If you'd like to learn more about Amy and the Prescott Library, please visit: