Stargazer Nights at Skokie Public Library

2017-06-30T07:49:05-06:00

Here at Skokie Public Library, one of our favorite seasonal recurring events is our Stargazer Night program. While we first started these all-ages programs in the spring of 2015 in conjunction with an exploration of microcosms and macrocosms in our BOOMbox, we’ve continued offering 5 or 6 of these programs each year. Here’s what we do. Families take a closer look at Jupiter and its moons during Stargazer Nights. First, we choose our dates for Stargazer Night programs. We check a local sunrise/sunset schedule so we know what months might be viable for a program. We’ve tended to find [...]

Stargazer Nights at Skokie Public Library2017-06-30T07:49:05-06:00

Hands-on STEM: Scale Model of Sun and Earth

2017-05-23T14:30:50-06:00

While we all know that the Sun is very big and very far away, its actual size and distance from Earth can be hard concepts to grasp. Many Solar System models that we see inaccurately display the relative size of the Sun compared to the planets, and almost all models inaccurately display the true distance between Solar System objects. This isn't due to a lack of astronomical knowledge, but rather the amount of space that an accurate model would require! For example: an accurate model with a marble-sized (one inch in diameter) Earth would call for a nine-foot wide Sun and [...]

Hands-on STEM: Scale Model of Sun and Earth2017-05-23T14:30:50-06:00

Meteors, Moon Phases, and Sky Maps; Oh My!

2017-05-08T08:00:27-06:00

April was a good time for Astronomy programs, with the Lyrid Meteor Shower on Earth Day this year. We held two different programs in anticipation of the shower; one in the library, and one in a local county park. The program Meet a Meteor began with some meteor basics, including this "What's Up in April" video from NASA. https://youtu.be/r7RHlKVd87M A second video, specifically about the 2015 Lyrid meteor shower, was shared as well. Even though it is an older video, it references Earth Day and includes a good description of what a meteor shower is. The Earth Day Meteor Shower video can [...]

Meteors, Moon Phases, and Sky Maps; Oh My!2017-05-08T08:00:27-06:00

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse!

2017-02-20T04:45:43-07:00

What exactly is a penumbral  lunar eclipse? We recently had the good fortune to be able to explore this in a library program. In a rare event, several circumstances aligned to allow us the opportunity to talk about eclipses, view one as it happened, and help build excitement for the upcoming solar eclipse. Even though Friday evening programs are not typically well-attended, this was a program that really piqued the public's interest! 75 people of a wide range of ages attended the event to learn about the eclipse, practice some "hands-on eclipse-making," and view the eclipse through the library's telescope. We [...]

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse!2017-02-20T04:45:43-07:00

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!

2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

         The Lunar and Planetary Institute has done it again!  They have developed another delicious educational experience to share with libraries and educators - Edible Rocks. Who would want to try to eat a rock?  Just about everyone, when the "rocks" are chocolate bars, "Three Musketeers" (the candy, not the book or movie), "Nestle Crunch," and chocolate covered granola bars. In this activity, children learn and use terms that geologists use when studying and describing meteorites, except they will be using the terms to describe candy bars.  They also get the opportunity to draw their observations and write descriptions of [...]

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

Perseid Meteor Shower – August 11 & 12

2016-08-09T13:40:14-06:00

By Andrew Fraknoi | Exploring the Universe Image Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO) This Thursday and Friday, there will be one of the best annual meteor showers you and your family can watch -– the Perseids.    And some experts are even predicting that there might be a meteor “outburst” this year –- where the number of shooting stars increases beyond the usual rates. This is a complicated year for watching the Perseid meteor shower, because the evening sky has a roughly half-lit-up moon in it, making it more difficult to catch the faint “shooting stars.”  So if you can wait until the Moon [...]

Perseid Meteor Shower – August 11 & 122016-08-09T13:40:14-06:00

An Even Briefer History of Time – Time, Deep Time, and The Enormity of Space

2016-05-09T12:47:33-06:00

--This is the full version of an article that originally appeared in the Anythink Library System Newspaper-- Have you ever noticed that the older you get; the more time seems to fly? When you were four years old, desperately waiting for your family vacation, it seemed like it would never come. And once you got there, it seemed like you were there for almost forever. Now, the wait for that same trip may seem like there's not enough time to even pack, and once you’re there, it’s over in an instant. In everyday life, this phenomenon is just a matter of [...]

An Even Briefer History of Time – Time, Deep Time, and The Enormity of Space2016-05-09T12:47:33-06:00

Life on Mars: Citizen Science for Upper Elementary

2016-04-21T09:41:12-06:00

One of my favorite STEM programs combines the awe factor of potentially living on Mars and the positive impact of Citizen Science. This “Life on Mars” program was presented to youth in grades 3-5 at Skokie Public Library and would work well through grade 6. Citizen Science, where the general public contributes to science research, is resurfacing with the help of online platforms--like Zooniverse--that curate various Citizen Science projects to support research in areas like space, climate, social science, and art. Emphasize the importance of Citizen Science to youth in the library: when non-scientists are doing scientific work for the betterment [...]

Life on Mars: Citizen Science for Upper Elementary2016-04-21T09:41:12-06:00

Explore! Marvel Moon Free NASA Webinar

2016-03-29T18:28:10-06:00

I recently received this e-mail from Christine Shupla, with the Lunar and Planetary Institute.  I hope she doesn't mind my forwarding her announcement. I've attended some of these webinars in the past, and they are fantastic, as well as a lot of fun!  I remember one where we created the phases of the moon by taking bites out of Oreos.  At the same workshop, we created the layers of the earth with Rice Krispie Treats and other candies.  I gained pounds of knowledge... and sugar calories.  It was great!  Of course, I don't think they actually intended for the participants to [...]

Explore! Marvel Moon Free NASA Webinar2016-03-29T18:28:10-06:00

Next Generation Science Standards Webinar

2016-02-28T11:05:59-07:00

*Please note, do not share this with members outside the STAR_Net group, thank you!, please note the guest login for those not members of the Museum Alliance* Museum Alliance Professional Development Conversation Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 Time: 12 noon Pacific (3:00 pm Eastern) Leader:  Amelia Chapman Topic: Next Generation Science Standards: Don’t Be Scared! Overview: Including engineering practices in science teaching is uncharted territory for many. However, daily operations at JPL integrate science and engineering practices as habits of mind that enable cutting-edge solar system exploration. In this talk, learn the basics of the Next Generation Science Standards science and engineering practices, [...]

Next Generation Science Standards Webinar2016-02-28T11:05:59-07:00
Go to Top