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

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

DIY Giant Bubbles

The last weeks of summer are a great time to take science outside. At Skokie Public Library, we featured giant bubbles and bubble wand making at two outdoor events, one at a local school and one in conjunction with a bookmobile visit in the community. Here’s what we did. Photo by Andrew Dworek

By |September 16th, 2016|Categories: Chemistry, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Physics, Science, STEM|0 Comments

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

Who Does Lego Wedo? We Do!

By Maija McLaughlin, Director of Digital Access, Fayetteville Free Library Since January of this year, the Fayetteville Free Library has been running a monthly Lego WeDo program for children K-2nd.    For several years, the library has facilitated programs for teens and middle schoolers utilizing Lego robotics platforms such Lego MindStorm.  Our savvy patrons and parents

By |July 1st, 2016|Categories: Elementary Aged, Physics, STEM, Technology|Tags: , |0 Comments

Tumbling Around With Tumblewings and Walking Along With Walkalongs

Do you know how to make a telephone book fly? One page at a time, of course! Kids (and adults, as well) can have a great time learning about air flow, aerodynamics, creative paper engineering, and patience, with nothing more expensive or hard to acquire than an old phone book, a large piece of cardboard,

What If? to Oh Cool! The Scientific Method Put to Work Launching Stomp Rockets

      How can  kids use the scientific method to develop better, higher flying paper rockets, or, better yet, shock the administrators on the third floor?  It's easy! For the last several years, I've been doing stomp rocket programs at my library.  Whether it's during summer reading club or in the middle of the school

Paper Airplane Challenge!

Last week my Crafternoon participants (with a few moms and one teen-aged sister included) enjoyed a paper plane tournament.  It was a wonderful, low cost, quick prep program which everyone enjoyed thoroughly. I collected all the paper airplane books that my library system owned, added quite a few that I bought online, and had them laid

Kites and Kite Programs for All Ages

  It's September, and here in the South the days are a little bit cooler, and the wind is picking up.  It's the perfect time to spend a day riding the wind with a kite or two.  It's even more fun to proudly display and fly a kite of your own design and making. This

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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