Everyone Knows What Engineering is! – Right?

2021-05-28T21:40:37-06:00

We all know the word.  We hear it just about every day.  We see it all the time. Engineer The E in STEM, STEAM, and STREAM stands for engineering. But do we know what the word actually means?  What is engineering?  What do engineers do? Of all the letters in STREAM, I think the E has changed more than all the others, growing, evolving, expanding, adding dimensions and details.  I decided to spend some time exploring the meaning of the word engineering, the history of engineering, and just how much the work of engineers influences our day to day lives. Let’s [...]

Everyone Knows What Engineering is! – Right?2021-05-28T21:40:37-06:00

10, 9, 8, 7….3, 2, 1, Launch America!!!

2020-05-26T22:12:05-06:00

I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe, and socially distanced Memorial Day Holiday! Now to prepare for the historic event tomorrow that will mark the first launch of American astronauts into space in an American rocket from an American launchpad since the shuttle program was retired in 2011. The crew for this mission are Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley:                   They will be launching from Launch Complex 39A in a SpaceX Crew Dragon carried into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket.  The lift-off is scheduled for 4:33 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 27. For special access to additional information, [...]

10, 9, 8, 7….3, 2, 1, Launch America!!!2020-05-26T22:12:05-06:00

Online Resources for Home-bound #3

2020-03-29T00:07:17-06:00

Hello again!  I hope this post finds everyone staying at home and safe. It's amazing how much can be found on the internet to keep a person entertained and learning while we're hanging out at home.  I'm taking classes on all kinds of subjects from several different sites myself these days.  I'm almost finished with all the courses on Code.org.  That site is like playing a game all day!  I'm reviewing my math skills on Alison (Alison.com).  I've started coding on FreeCodeCamp (https://www.freecodecamp.org/learn/), and I am excited to say that I am finally working on earning NASA Badges (https://www.txstate-epdc.net/).  I'm not [...]

Online Resources for Home-bound #32020-03-29T00:07:17-06:00

On-line Resources for Homebound Families #1

2020-03-22T17:21:41-06:00

I, like the rest of the country, am at home these days.  Fortunately for me, I have always been good at keeping myself entertained.  Today though, many kids aren't as good at that as in generations past.  Anyone in my childhood household who said the word 'bored' would get such a long list of chores to do from my mother that the word would never pass through those lips again. In an attempt to help out families everywhere who are in a situation they never imagined could happen, I have been scouring the internet.  I have several goals in mind.  The [...]

On-line Resources for Homebound Families #12020-03-22T17:21:41-06:00

STAR Net + Infiniscope = Great Resources and Activities!!

2019-01-17T03:28:34-07:00

  Next Wednesday (January 23) two great resources will be coming together to help teachers and public librarians unite to create a wonderful summer experience for children all across the United States!  STAR_Net, a resource for librarians who provide STREAM programming, is uniting with Infiniscope, a resource used by teachers to teach science concepts, especially those related to space and astronomy.  This new alliance could really bring this summer's theme of "A Universe of Stories" to life for children and youth of all ages, and create a relationship between school and library that could serve to strengthen and reinforce student learning [...]

STAR Net + Infiniscope = Great Resources and Activities!!2019-01-17T03:28:34-07:00

Pumpkin STEMs!

2018-11-25T20:50:30-07:00

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 use a variation on the marshmallows and spaghetti project building idea. I provided candy pumpkins and toothpicks for the building challenge. Candy Corn was also available, although none chose to build with it. They were allowed as many candy pumpkins as they needed, and both flat [...]

Pumpkin STEMs!2018-11-25T20:50:30-07:00

A Visit With Master Artists and Teachers – Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander

2018-11-23T19:14:08-07:00

A local museum is hosting an exhibit entitled "Origami in the Garden" until March of 2019.  It's a fantastic series of metal sculptures based on origami designs scattered throughout the gardens of the museum.    As part of the exhibit's kick-off activities, Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander, master origamists, were invited to visit local schools and to teach workshops at the Botanic Garden.  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one of their workshops.  It was great! Using giant squares of paper and the wall as their flat surface, Michael and Richard showed a group of about 25 how [...]

A Visit With Master Artists and Teachers – Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander2018-11-23T19:14:08-07:00

Making Coding Fun and Easy

2018-10-26T12:25:00-06:00

This year I started adding something new to some of my programs - coding.  It has been a whole new adventure for me.  When I was in school, computers in education were a new concept.  There was a room with several desktop computers with large towers connected to them.  Those computers required 6 inch floppy disks, were programmed with DOS, and sat there quietly in the dark most of the time.  I only had one teacher brave enough to try teaching with them.  Over the course of one semester, we learned some very basic programming, which I thought was fun, but [...]

Making Coding Fun and Easy2018-10-26T12:25:00-06:00

A Whale of an Adventure!

2018-08-01T22:44:47-06:00

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. I asked what kinds of things migrate; they told me fish, birds, butterflies, bugs, “things that live in Africa.” I asked if people migrate, and they all said no… but then thought about it a little more. One or two of them said “maybe.” We talked about people who [...]

A Whale of an Adventure!2018-08-01T22:44:47-06:00

Seeing Stars!

2018-07-30T20:14:58-06:00

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 both about learning and fun... I want to encourage kids and their adults to spend time looking at the sky when they are outside, even if they aren't sure what they are looking at or for. Since the moon is an easy place to start, I [...]

Seeing Stars!2018-07-30T20:14:58-06:00
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