About Jennifer Beach

Jennifer is a Children's Programmer at the Kenton County (KY) Public Library. She is also a Certified Professional Environmental Educator and holds a KY Early Care and Education Training Credential (EE Specialty.) She has been enjoying science and the environment her whole life, and has been sharing it with kids and families for 25+ years through her job, the Girl Scouts, and her home garden which is open to the public.

Engineering programs? As simple as playing with blocks!

Providing programs that fit in the Engineering aspect of STEAM can seem a bit daunting. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition (c.2011) defines engineering as: “The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.”

Southeastern Forests and Climate Change

Project Learning Tree (PLT) https://www.plt.org/ has been discussed in previous posts. There are a number of secondary modules (for grades 9-12) available to enhance and expand the PLT curricula. Modules include Biodiversity, Biotechnology, GreenSchools! Investigations, Focus on Forests, Forests of the World, Places We Live, Focus on Risk, Municipal Solid Waste, and Southeastern Forests and Climate

Seven Days of STEM: A Week’s Worth of Environmental Ed Programs: Day 7- Hibernation

Preparing for the winter takes many forms in the animal kingdom. One that fascinates young and old is hibernation, and bears quickly come to mind for this concept. There are many other hibernators, though, including other mammals, snakes, bugs, bats, and amphibians! Share a program with families during the darkest part of the winter to

Seven Days of STEM: A week’s worth of Environmental Ed: Day 6- Recycling

Many programs have been done with recycling. Usually, they involve things like making crafts from empty 2-liter bottles and milk jugs. However, there are some pretty amazing things that can be done with paper recycling also! If your library is anything like my library, you have a bin of construction paper scraps somewhere that are

Public Libraries and STEM

I had the great privilege and honor to be part of the inaugural Public Libraries and STEM Conference, co-convened last week in Denver, Colorado by Paul B. Dusenbery of the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning and Keliann LaConte of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/stemlibraryconference/ At this conference, STEM professionals and public librarians met for two and

By |August 26th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|4 Comments

Seven Days of STEM: A week’s worth of Environmental Ed: Day 5. Animal Adaptations.

After communing with the trees in the last lesson, why not look at some of the animals that inhabit them? Birds are fascinating creatures to most people, and offer an easily understood lesson in adaptations. If you have access to an outdoor area frequented by birds, try to spend some time observing them with your

Seven days of STEM: A week’s worth of Environmental Ed: Day 4. Trees, please!

  Trees. I grew up climbing them, reading in and under them, swinging on ropes hung from them, even planting them. Not everyone is so lucky. Even if your library does not include green space and trees, there are fun and interesting ways to share trees with your younger patrons.     As always, I start

Seven Days of STEM: A week’s worth of Environmental Ed programming- Day 3: Life Cycle of the Frog

After talking about water (and possibly wetlands) with the Lake activity in the previous lesson, why not move on to the life cycle of the frog? Most kids find frogs and their metamorphosis to be fascinating, and this lesson includes an easy and fun 3D chart of the life cycle. Start with some great books!

Seven Days of STEM: A week’s worth of Environmental Ed programming- Day 2: The Lake

Imagine your library property is home to a lake. It is a lovely lake. People like to picnic around its clean, sparkling water. Now imagine that all sorts of icky stuff inadvertently ends up in the lake. What do you do to clean it up? This premise is the basis for a program that explores

Seven Days of STEM: A week’s worth of Environmental Ed programming, Day 1: Butterflies

Seven Days of STEM: Day one. Life Science. There is currently a movement afoot to "save the Monarch Butterflies." I am all for this for many reasons, not the least of which is that they are simply amazing creatures. They have a lot to teach us as well, about habitat loss, man's interference with migration

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