Isaac Bucknell shows off some of the STEM kits he created as a part of his Eagle Scout project for the Troy Public Library.

Isaac Bucknell shows off some of the STEM kits he created as a part of his Eagle Scout project for the Troy Public Library.

Photo provided by Keegan Sulecki

Troy Eagle Scout creates STEM kits for library

By: Sarah Wright | Troy Times | Published April 24, 2024


TROY — Eagle Scout and Troy Athens High School senior Isaac Bucknell has supplied the Troy Public Library with STEM kits for patrons as part of a service project.

“We had been planning on establishing a STEM collection when Isaac approached us about creating kits as part of his Eagle Scout project. It was perfect timing,” Keegan Sulecki, the head of youth services at the library, said. “Isaac’s project was part of a larger initiative to create a permanent STEM collection within universal access. Patrons appreciated the math kits that were already a part of the collection and requested additional hands-on STEM activities.”

STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and math. These subjects are important to a growing industry and encourage those interested in the subjects to explore skills related to problem solving and collaboration.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank in Boy Scouts of America, and the Eagle Scout Project is the essential requirement to make that achievement. The project is designed to help the community while testing a Scout’s ability to lead younger Scouts, handle logistics, and manage resources like volunteers and fundraising.

Bucknell completed all fundraising and purchasing for the project, as well as thoughtfully choosing topics of interest for young learners and selecting safe, age-appropriate, hands-on activities. He also worked with younger Scouts to write instructions and questions for each kit.

“I want my Eagle Project to teach kids science in the best way possible – fun,” Bucknell said. “I have seen the younger kids from the Boy Scout troop have an absolute blast with the kits.”

In total, Bucknell provided eight kits to the library. The kits contain two activities for children to explore, as well as books and nonfiction DVDs. Topics include light and refraction; magnetism; electricity; material properties; minerals and geology; and metal and weight.

“Since they went on the shelves in February Isaacs’s eight kits have gone out 21 times,” Sulecki said. “The kits on matter and electricity have been the most popular so far.”

The library used Bucknell’s contribution for the basis of launching a variety of STEM kits as part of the existing universal access collection. This collection hosts a variety of items, beyond books, to support students of all learning abilities.

“Universal access supports a multisensory approach to learning, so adding items for students to learn about STEM in an experiential way seemed like a great fit,” Sulecki said. “The STEM collection will be a permanent part of the library’s larger universal access collection. In creating the kits, the durability and longevity of items is considered so that they can circulate for as long as possible. Isaac did a great job choosing long-lasting items, as well as providing us with replacements for any consumable elements he included.”

Since the creation of the collection, the library has been able to add 36 new items in the areas of science, technology and engineering.

“In addition to the existing math kits, our collection now has 75 unique kits for patrons to explore,” Sulecki said.