STEAM Kits

One way we promote self-directed STEAM learning at Skokie Public Library is through our STEAM Kit collection. We have about 30 kits that cardholders can checkout for one week at a time. Here’s how we create, circulate, and promote this specialized collection.   Kit Topics and Contents Our STEAM kits are carefully curated by staff

STEAM Engines

Youth Services Librarian Caitlin Savage took over STEAM programming for grades K-2 last spring at Skokie Public Library. Under her direction, the bi-monthly Science Club program became monthly and was re-branded as STEAM Engines. This program is becoming a destination for budding scientists and explorers, and serves a bridge to other STEAM opportunities at the

By |December 27th, 2018|Categories: Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Science, STEM|1 Comment

Exploring Chemical Engineering

This summer our informal learning space, the BOOMbox, is exploring all things engineering. The rotation is 16 weeks long and we’re focusing on a different field of engineering every two weeks. Last month we shared information about a program related to civil engineering and this month, we’re sharing highlights from our two weeks of exploring

By |July 30th, 2018|Categories: Chemistry, Engineering, Informal Learning, Science|1 Comment

STEAM Benchmarks

We know that hands-on or experiential learning is great for patrons of all ages, and that it’s particularly powerful in STEAM learning opportunities. Skokie Public Library has developed STEAM programming benchmarks for our youth patrons, from pre-kindergarten through grade 5, that ensure we have regular STEAM offerings on a variety of topics. We’ve found that

By |September 8th, 2017|Categories: Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Pre-School, Science|0 Comments

Sharpie Tie-Dye

As summer comes to an end and many of our patrons are busy on vacation or getting ready to go back to school, we were eager to offer quick access to STEAM opportunities. One of our favorites is Sharpie Tie-Dye; it’s a low-cost experiment that takes just a few minutes but has a big impact

By |August 23rd, 2017|Categories: Arts, Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Middle School Aged|Tags: |0 Comments

Family Science Expo

At the end of January, we hosted our fourth annual Family Science Expo here at Skokie Public Library. When we first offered the all-ages family event in winter 2014, we used the same model pioneered by one of our nearby libraries, Des Plaines Public Library: we offered access to a variety of exhibitors from local

DNA Extraction from Cheek Cells

We know that hands-on experimentation often leads to more meaningful learner engagement and a deeper understanding of concepts. We recently facilitated a catchy yet easy-to-execute experiment during drop-in hours in the BOOMbox, Skokie Public Library’s STEAM learning space. Our experiment: human DNA extraction. While DNA extraction may seem daunting, this experiment is relatively simple and

By |December 15th, 2016|Categories: Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Science|1 Comment

DIY Giant Bubbles

The last weeks of summer are a great time to take science outside. At Skokie Public Library, we featured giant bubbles and bubble wand making at two outdoor events, one at a local school and one in conjunction with a bookmobile visit in the community. Here’s what we did. Photo by Andrew Dworek

By |September 16th, 2016|Categories: Chemistry, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Physics, Science, STEM|0 Comments

States of Matter: Chemistry Programming for Preschool and Early Elementary

When you put the time into creating a dynamic STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program for youth, it feels like a big bonus to be able to offer modified versions of the program to multiple ages of children. Below is a great example of a program that can be adapted for multiple age groups--and

By |April 11th, 2016|Categories: Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Science, STEM|0 Comments

NanoDays at the Library

    NanoDays is organized by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net), and takes place nationally in late March and early April. This community-based event is the largest public outreach effort in nanoscale informal science education and involves science museums, research centers, and universities from Puerto Rico to Alaska. At the nanoscale—the scale of

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