About Amy Holcomb

Amy manages the BOOMbox: Skokie Public Library's STEAM space that features a different theme every few months. She is a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and values the DIY (do it yourself) and DIT (do it together) approach to learning.

Vermicomposting

November programs at Skokie Public Library focused on food in a variety of ways. On Mondays, we provided an International Snack Cart showcasing local restaurants and continued our Be the Chef workshop series. To align with this theme, Be the Scientist, a hands-on STEAM program for grades 3-5, featured vermicomposting this month. Here’s what we

By |November 19th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Science|0 Comments

Exploring the Lunar Surface

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, Be the Scientist, a STEAM program for grades 3-5, explored the lunar surface this month. This program series generally has a short slide presentation to introduce the topic and the hands on challenge. Additionally, this month we were able to feature a lunar sample disk

By |October 28th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|2 Comments

Pitch and Frequency

This month’s Be the Scientist program for kids in grades 3-5 returned to sound exploration like we did last Fall with the Science of Sound program. This time, we aligned it with Hispanic Heritage month to offer a suite of programs that focused on South American cultures. And the result was exploring pitch and frequency

By |September 30th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, STEM|2 Comments

Evaluating STEAM Experiences

Earlier this month I participated in a forum about library makerspaces and how we evaluate engagement and measure success. Since my library’s equivalent of a makerspace is STEAM focused, I used my time at the forum to reflect on how I have been evaluating the BOOMbox and related STEAM programming for youth.  End of

By |August 30th, 2019|Categories: General, Informal Learning|0 Comments

Exploring Insects

This summer, Skokie Public Library committed to providing quality STEAM programs for youth in elementary grades while in the hustle that is summer reading. Youth Services Librarian Gudrun Premier facilitated a Be the Scientist program for grades 3-5 earlier this month and focused on insects. Here’s what she did. Gudrun began the program in our

By |July 31st, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, Informal Learning, Science|0 Comments

BLOOMbox All Summer Long

This summer the BOOMbox, our self-directed STEAM learning space, is looking at topics related to gardening, botany, and ecology and has been dubbed BLOOMbox for the duration of the rotation. We’ve focused on these topics previously and have found our community is really drawn to the hands-on learning associated with gardening alongside discussion topics related

By |June 30th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, STEM|0 Comments

Be the Scientist: Tie-Dye

One of my favorite STEAM programs is tie-dye. This can be presented as a family drop-in event, perhaps on the library’s front lawn, or as a grade specific program. For the last Be the Scientist, we featured tie-dye as a hands-on spring event for participants in grades 3-5. While the program is inherently entertaining, we

By |May 28th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Uncategorized|2 Comments

3D Printing Boot Camp

Skokie Public Library has previously offered multiple day programs over school breaks to engage learners in a deeper dive of a specific content. Boot camp style programs tend to do well with higher tech topics like coding. This year during Spring Break, Ben, one of our Experiential Learning Specialists, designed a two day boot camp

By |April 28th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Community Video Gaming

Video games continue to be a source of community based learning and entertainment for youth and teens at Skokie Public Library. We have embraced this and provide multiple channels for youth and teens to participate either individually or as a group. But we really value group gaming as it supports collaboration, communication, and community, which

By |March 26th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Technology|0 Comments

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
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