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

Paper Spheres: Experimentation with Decoration

Leading up to the holidays, people are often busy buying gifts and decorating their homes.  So, this year, I decided to offer different decorative crafts each week in December.  One of the most popular was the paper spheres.  The craft is simple to do, and only requires strips of paper, a hole punch, and brads

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

Tree-mendous Mini Camp a tremendous success!

Taking advantage of connections to the county parks department, spring weather, and spring break, we tried a new program idea this spring. A Tree-mendous Mini Camp was held on two days in a local county park; we did a variety of tree-related activities, learning games, reading, crafting, and more. For two and a half hours

Paper Quilting – Colored Paper, Creativity, Geometry, and a Little History Mixed In

    It's cold outside (OK, in some parts of the country it is)- the time of the year when people think about curling up under a warm quilt with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book, unless you're a kid, of course.  Sitting still under a warm blanket is really hard when

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,

3-D Origami – The Fun of Legos on a Much Smaller Budget

Fate is a funny thing.  A few months ago I got ambitious one week, and wrote and published ( I thought) three blog articles.  Unbeknownst to me, it was the same week that the STAR_Net blog was being moved to its new home on this website.  For some reason, one of my articles made the

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

Seven Days of STEM: A week’s worth of Environmental Ed programming- Day 3: Life Cycle of the Frog

After talking about water (and possibly wetlands) with the Lake activity in the previous lesson, why not move on to the life cycle of the frog? Most kids find frogs and their metamorphosis to be fascinating, and this lesson includes an easy and fun 3D chart of the life cycle. Start with some great books!

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