STEAM Engines: falling for you

As it often does in the Midwest, the fall began in all its resplendence - sun shining through the foliage, colors changing majestically, a cozy crispness in the air. And then it snowed. A lot. And it stuck, leaving us incongruously with deep snow and trees full of not-quite-changed leaves. It was amazing to look

By |November 30th, 2019|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, environmental education, Informal Learning, Science, STEM|0 Comments

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

Mercury is on the Main Stage Monday!

There is going to be a special event this coming Monday.  The planet Mercury will be passing between the Sun and the Earth.  It's called a Mercury Transit, and it is a rare occurrence.  The next time such an event will be visible from the United States will be 2049.  There will be one in

Art Magic With Markers

I've had the opportunity lately to do something that I haven't been able to do in a very long time - ART! There are few things as much fun as taking brilliant colors mixing them on paper to create wonderful things.  It is important for children to have the opportunity to just play with color,

Robotics With Cubelets

  Over the last year or so, I've done a number of programs using Cubelets.  For anyone unfamiliar with them, they are cube-shaped modules that connect to one another magnetically to create 'robots.'  Each module has a single function.  There's a power Cube, that contains the rechargeable battery, and the On/Off switch.  The rest are

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

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

Make a Hand, Then Try It Out – DIY Robotic Hands

      Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit another branch and do some programming.  My colleage challenged me to come up with an activity that would get the tweens off of the internet games on the public computers and into the program room for the activity.  That was quite the challenge! 

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