International Falls Public Library: STEM program “Libratory”
“Our hope is that students will use these technologies to create new ways of interacting with their world.” Diane Adams, Library Director
Problem: Not everyone in our community has equal access to technology. STEM equipment is expensive, and for many kids in our community, inaccessible.
Solution: The library currently offers the After School Libratory for school-age kids during early-out Wednesdays that includes activities ranging from cooking to games. Grant funds will allow the library to expand the program to offer coding and technology experiences. Equipment includes Nintendo Labo and Switch, Raspberry Pi kits, Dash and Cue robots and Sphero Sparks, many of which will be available for teachers to check out for classroom use.
Backus Community Center: Video Projection
Problem: Several rooms and the stage areas are used by large groups throughout the year for meetings and other events. The current equipment is more than 10 years old, making in incompatible with newer laptops.
Solution: New equipment will make it possible for groups such as the Arrowhead Ultra Marathon, Minnesota Deer Hunters, Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run and International Falls Chamber of Commerce to better serve audiences.
Borderland Young Professionals: Web-ex technology
Problem: The 501c3 was created in 2015 as a way for young people to project a unified voice on areas of interest and concern in the community, as well as support each other in common challenges. In order to remain viable, Borderland Young Professionals must attract and engage dedicated members. However, members’ professional and personal lives make it difficult for them to attend regular meetings, a requirement under non-profit guidelines.
Solution: By utilizing technology, BYP will host its meetings via web-ex, making member participation easier. The same technology will also be used to increase the group’s reach in the community.
Koochiching County Veterans Service Office: Video conferencing
“It is our intent to introduce our vets to this technology to connect them to the services they have earned.” Mark Lessard, Koochiching County Veterans Service Officer
Problem: Koochiching CVSO serves an estimated 1,500 veterans who face many obstacles when it comes to accessing medical, behavioral health and other services. The nearest VA hospitals and regional offices are in Minneapolis, MN, and Fargo, Nod.
Solution: State-of-the-art teleconferencing technology provide our area veterans with access to telemedicine, behavior health counseling, job training and other services without having to leave the county.
Friends Against Abuse: Safety System
“This grant allows Friends Against Abuse to work safely and efficiently to serve victims of crime.” Jenell Feller, Executive Director
Problem: Friends Against Abuse is an advocacy agency that assists victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and general crime. In order to maintain confidentiality, Crime Victim Advocates meet with clients behind closed doors in sound-proof offices that, while private, also pose a safety concern.
Solution: A panic button system allows agency staff to quickly alert law enforcement in case of an emergency.
International Falls Public Library and Koochiching Aging Options: Virtual Reality
iFallsNice: Movies in the Park
Koochiching Economic Development Authority: Technology Club, Your Ticket Home and Public WiFi
City of Littlefork: Technology for Community Center
City of International Falls: Community Web Portal