Building an ISS Model

Our library is hosting the Explore Space: A Cosmic Journey exhibit* for the next two months, and as part of this special exhibit we have lined up several space-themed STEAM programs for youth in grades K-5. One of our first programs took place before the exhibit’s opening: a challenge-based family program where the goal was

By |October 27th, 2017|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, Informal Learning, NASA, Science, Space Exloration, STEM|0 Comments

STEAM Benchmarks

We know that hands-on or experiential learning is great for patrons of all ages, and that it’s particularly powerful in STEAM learning opportunities. Skokie Public Library has developed STEAM programming benchmarks for our youth patrons, from pre-kindergarten through grade 5, that ensure we have regular STEAM offerings on a variety of topics. We’ve found that

By |September 8th, 2017|Categories: Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Pre-School, Science|0 Comments

Transportation at the Depot

Taking the STEAM concept in a slightly different direction, last week we hosted a program at the Depot Park all about transportation. This is always a popular theme, and since we were meeting at the Depot (as in train!) Park, it seemed like a natural fit. The Erlanger Depot Museum is one of the last

Join the Rage! DIY Fidget Spinners

      I came across an interesting new type of toy online a few months ago - fidget spinners.  They're advertised as good for nail chewers, autistic people, children and adults with OCD, ADHD, and a variety of other conditions and issues.  I don't know about all that, but I do know they are

Paper Engineering Workshop for Tweens

During spring break this year, I tried a new program aimed specifically for 8-12 year olds.  We met each afternoon for two hours to work on creating paper automata.  I had a limit of 25 participants, and required pre-registration in order to attend.  Registration started out slow, and about the time I began to get

Family Science Expo

At the end of January, we hosted our fourth annual Family Science Expo here at Skokie Public Library. When we first offered the all-ages family event in winter 2014, we used the same model pioneered by one of our nearby libraries, Des Plaines Public Library: we offered access to a variety of exhibitors from local

Family Escape Room Challenge

A family working on Gravity Maze challenge cards. Have you noticed the escape room trend popping up in library programming? We decided to jump on that bandwagon and framed our latest STEAM family challenge program around the escape room trend, incorporating logic and teamwork around a series of puzzles. I’ve mentioned Mission: BOOMbox

By |November 8th, 2016|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, Informal Learning, Science|0 Comments

Cardboard Creations!

What can you do with an hour, a large box, some assorted IKEA packing materials, a few plastic fasteners, and some kids? All kinds of cool things! We recently held another "open building" program at KCPL. This time, our building materials included one very large box, pieces of cardboard of various sizes, shapes, and thickness,

Tools & the Brain

Our library recently hosted the traveling exhibit Exploring Human Origins, which came to Skokie from the Smithsonian Institution through an ALA grant. In addition to the exhibit itself, we hosted a number of programs for all ages to engage in the topic of humans and evolution. Our cornerstone youth event, for kids in third through

By |October 7th, 2016|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, STEM|1 Comment

Roller Coaster Family Challenge

Long collaborative coaster We’ve been exploring all things architecture this summer in the BOOMbox, Skokie Public Library’s experiential learning STEAM space. I’ve mentioned a foray into preschool programming around the architecture theme in a previous post, and now I’m glad to share a challenge aimed at this school-age audience. We just hosted our

By |August 11th, 2016|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, Informal Learning, Physics, STEM|Tags: , |0 Comments
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