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

STAR Net Resources

Calling All STEM Superstars (and Newbies, too!) Follow This Guide to Free Resources from the STAR Library Network (STAR Net) Participants in the 2015 Public Libraries & STEM conference provided input on library strengths and opportunities in STEM in this word cloud.       Are you planning to bring science, technology, and fun into your

By |November 6th, 2018|Categories: Informal Learning, NASA, STEM, Tutorials|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.

Seeing Stars!

Indoor astronomy is a great way to light up the night! We recently did that, both figuratively and literally. I have done a fairly large number of astronomy programs in the past 5 or 6 years, both with and without the library's 8" Dobsonian telescope; both indoors and out. I want these programs to be

Celebrating Rockets’ Red Glare!

On Monday, we celebrated America's birthday with some STEM activities! As always, we started with some reading, and I intentionally chose books that included images of fireworks. I also included a number of non-fiction Independence Day titles in my book display, along with this title: We started by reading A is for America, by Devin

Animals in the Park!

Summer Reading programs in the park have begun again for the year. So how to inform and entertain a variety of ages, in an outdoor setting? Animals! The theme for the second week was animals, and the first of the Tuesday/Thursday programs featured a live animal petting zoo. Well over 250 people showed up for

Light and Color and Uncooperative Weather

The best-laid plans often go awry...  so how to program on the fly for a large group when that happens? My Monday Mayhem program is attended by a lot of school-age kids, including those who attend two separate day care summer camps. Planning for 80 takes some work and means that it is difficult to

Exploring Civil Engineering

This summer our STEAM space, the BOOMbox, is exploring engineering. We’re focusing on a different field of engineering every two weeks to help kids understand the breadth and overlap of this STEAM topic. While the BOOMbox offers drop-in experiences, our Be the Scientist program series for grades 3-5 provided a more structured exploration of civil

By |June 10th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, Informal Learning, STEM|1 Comment

May the Fourth be With You: Star Wars Day at the Library

It's Star Wars Day! I know that it's giving away my age, but I remember when the very first Star Wars movie came out.  I watched it from a swing-set in the small, fenced-in playground at the foot of the giant screen of the drive-in movie theater.  The playground was surrounded by the same heavy

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