LED Light Up Cards

This month we combined card-making with circuitry for our latest Be the Scientist program for grades 3-5. We facilitated this program near Valentine’s Day thinking it would help spark interest. Here’s what we did. We started the program by talking about circuitry, asking participants what they knew about how a circuit works and what its

By |February 23rd, 2019|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Physics, Science, STEM|4 Comments

STEAM Kits

One way we promote self-directed STEAM learning at Skokie Public Library is through our STEAM Kit collection. We have about 30 kits that cardholders can checkout for one week at a time. Here’s how we create, circulate, and promote this specialized collection.   Kit Topics and Contents Our STEAM kits are carefully curated by staff

New Horizons will be Broadcasting It’s Fly-By of Ultima Thule on January 1, 2019

  Many people are aware that New Horizons will be taking pictures, and collecting data as it passes close by the Kuiper Belt object commonly known as Ultima Thule (2014 MU6) on January 1, 2019.  It will be passing closer to Ultima Thule than it has come to any other object since it launched from

By |December 31st, 2018|Categories: astronomy, General, NASA, News, Science, Space Exloration, Uncategorized|Tags: , |0 Comments

STEAM Engines

Youth Services Librarian Caitlin Savage took over STEAM programming for grades K-2 last spring at Skokie Public Library. Under her direction, the bi-monthly Science Club program became monthly and was re-branded as STEAM Engines. This program is becoming a destination for budding scientists and explorers, and serves a bridge to other STEAM opportunities at the

By |December 27th, 2018|Categories: Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Science, STEM|1 Comment

Pumpkin STEMs!

STEM programming and Halloween just sort of naturally go together. But I was looking for a slightly "less gross" way to connect the two. Building and pumpkins don't seem to normally go in the same sentence, but we tried and it and had a blast! For the engineering portion of the program, I decided to

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos

            How do you decide if an event is a success? Usually the number of people in attendance is a good indicator, and one that the state wants us to report. But what if you only have three people from your intended audience attend? Can you still call that a successful

Backyard Wilderness BioBlitz!

This summer in the middle of Summer Reading Club, we acquired a grant-related exhibit for the library. Backyard Wilderness is a large-format film by HHMI studios, created primarily for the museum audience. An exhibit, designed also primarily for museums, was created to go along with it, and through the grant program, was distributed to libraries

Science of Sound

This fall our informal learning space, the BOOMbox, is exploring all things music. The rotation is 16 weeks long and we’re focusing on a different concept related to music about every two weeks. This month’s STEAM program for youth grades 3-5 aligned with the rotation and we explored the physics of sound in a hands

By |October 26th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, Informal Learning, Physics, Science|0 Comments

Nature Play

Under the direction of Sue Teller, Children’s Librarian/Staff Artist, Skokie Public Library has been bringing informal, nature-based STEAM learning to our youngest patrons via Nature Play. This is a weekly program intended for children ages 3-6 who participate with an adult caregiver. Sue was inspired by a program at one of the annual conferences hosted

By |August 28th, 2018|Categories: Arts, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Pre-School, Science, STEM|0 Comments

A Whale of an Adventure!

Migration: noun. seasonal movement of animals from one region to another. "this butterfly's annual migration across North America" We recently addressed the topic of migration in a program, and it was a lot of fun. First, I asked the kids what it means to “migrate.” They came up with a very similar answer to the definition above.

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