Monthly Archives: November 2018

Exploring Music

2018-11-27T20:00:34+00:00

This fall our STEAM space, the BOOMbox, is exploring music. Every two weeks, we focused drop-in experiences on a different aspect of music, from physics to history to genres. We used a variety of tools and resources for hands-on learning, experimentation, and exploration, largely engaging learners in grades 2-7. Here are some of the focus areas and related activities we featured.   Sound The first month explored sound: what it is, how it’s made, and how we hear. Exploration and activity stations included DIY instruments with recyclables, experimenting with the production of sound using different instruments like ukuleles and wood blocks, [...]

Exploring Music2018-11-27T20:00:34+00:00

Merge Cubes!

2018-11-26T21:52:56+00:00

There's a lot of hubbub about AR and VR lately. Unfortunately, a lot of this technology is financially unreasonable for many educators. That is, until the Merge Cubes were invented. It was originally made from a discarded yoga mat - and kind of still seems like it. It looks like a cube of alien QR codes, and that is essentially what it is. These alien QRs can link to elaborate AR experiences themed to coordinate with its directed subject matter. Merge cubes can teach anything from human body parts, to math and geometry, to the solar system. It sometimes seems that [...]

Merge Cubes!2018-11-26T21:52:56+00:00

Pumpkin STEMs!

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

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+00:00

FrankenCreatures!

2018-11-25T19:40:54+00:00

Who among us hasn't at some point just put out a bunch of materials and told the kids "have at it!"? We did that in our STREAM Center for a pre-Halloween program, and it was way more fun that we anticipated! There were a large number of the parents who stayed with their kids and created right along with them, even though their attendance wasn't strictly mandatory at the program. We had a wide range of materials, from paper tubes to wiggle eyes. We had access to tape and glue, along with rubber bands, paper clips, and binder clips. There were [...]

FrankenCreatures!2018-11-25T19:40:54+00:00

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

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

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+00:00

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos

2018-11-19T21:28:33+00:00

            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 event? To celebrate the end of World Space Week in October, we held Camp Cosmos at one of the local parks. We had paper rockets launched by compressed air, made space packs, offered "moon sand" to play in, made galaxy art, and more. It was a [...]

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos2018-11-19T21:28:33+00:00

Backyard Wilderness BioBlitz!

2018-11-19T19:36:22+00:00

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 as well. When the exhibit arrived, it was packed in a couple of boxes and included a rolled-up rug. Once put together, the exhibit offered a conglomerate view of a "backyard" area, complete with large tree, and contained in the image were a number of kinds [...]

Backyard Wilderness BioBlitz!2018-11-19T19:36:22+00:00

STAR Net Resources

2018-11-06T10:08:55+00:00

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 programs and services in summer 2019? Help us build on the successes (and challenges) of the 2017 solar eclipse by joining this vibrant – FREE! – network for libraries and their communities across the country.         STAR Net focuses on helping library professionals facilitate STEM [...]

STAR Net Resources2018-11-06T10:08:55+00:00
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