Science Kits for STREAM Educators

I have recently discovered a great not-so-new resource for teachers and librarians - Biology in a Box! This program, now in it's 25th year, was created by University of Tennessee/Knoxville professor Dr. Susan Riechert to help science teachers in the Knox County, Tennessee, schools who were lacking a strong science background, or adequate resources to provide strong

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

Poly- What? Learning the language of 3D Geometry

    Shapes, shapes, and more shapes.  Circle, triangle, square, rectangle - it all starts of easy enough.  Then it get a bit more complicated when you move from two dimensional to three dimensional - sphere, cylinder, pyramid, cube, prism.  Then, before you know it, your tongue is in a knot, and you're totally confused.

Go (Igo, Baduk, ) for Kids? You Bet!!

             What is Go?  Well, besides being one of the words in the dictionary with a ridiculous number of definitions, it is the American name for the oldest board game in the world still being played in its original form and using the same rules devised over 2,000 years ago.

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,

Pumpkins! (with STEMs!)

Happy October! Like the rest of the known (well, at least here in the Midwest!) world, you CAN bring pumpkins into your programming! But there are ways to do this which include many STEM concepts as well as fun! There are many great fiction titles about pumpkins, some of which actually follow the life cycle

Tangrams – Stories, Shapes and Spatial Thinking

      Tangrams are possibly among the easiest of puzzles to make, and the among hardest to master.  The traditional tangram is composed of seven pieces - 2 large triangles, a medium sized triangle, 2 small triangles, a square, and a parallelogram - that will fit together into a perfect square, among thousands of other

New Life for an Ancient Tool – Making and Using Abaci With Elementary Age Kids

              What can you do with a group of kids, corrogated cardboard, a lot of beads, pipe cleaners, and some masking or decorative duct tape?  Make abaci, of course!                         With a little bit of preliminary work, this is a craft program

Southeastern Forests and Climate Change

Project Learning Tree (PLT) 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

Move Over iPads, Kindles in the Spotlight

  Over this past summer my department added a regular Gadget Lab to our Summer Reading Club programming.  I had the opportunity to offer Kindle Fire HDs and iPad Minis for my school-aged participants to learn to use and play with.  Initially the program was offered every other week, but an advertising mistake gave me

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