Look Up! Featured Activity – Mission to Space Board Game 

2021-10-04T16:25:09-06:00

Celebrate the upcoming launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope using a new Toolkit of five interactive activities. This month’s featured activity is Mission to Space Board Game.  Patrons play a board game in which they represent a team of scientists and engineers sending a spacecraft on a mission to space. Assemble the pieces of this tabletop board game to use in library or outreach programs. It includes instructions in English and in Spanish.  Time to complete: 40 minutes to 1 hour  Ages: 4 years and up  Shopping and Preparation List Total Cost: Cost of printing cards and board Fundamental Space Science Concepts – How Mission [...]

Look Up! Featured Activity – Mission to Space Board Game 2021-10-04T16:25:09-06:00

STEAM Engines: Da Vinci Bridge

2021-07-20T13:00:34-06:00

A few years back, as the Youth Services department was thinking about programs and play opportunities for the library, I attended this talk about the benefits of nature play for children. Scholarly presentations on the benefits of forest schools, nature preschools, and the importance of nature play were in abundance as well as hands-on activities for practical application in a school or library setting. I love it, and I’m totally on board, but the point that stuck out the most for me was the educator who talked about kids’ play being their work - that they would naturally become builders, engineers, [...]

STEAM Engines: Da Vinci Bridge2021-07-20T13:00:34-06:00

STEAM Engines: Rube Goldberg Machines

2021-07-20T13:04:17-06:00

One of the greatest things about living with my son is watching how his brain works. He is a tinkerer, a “how things work” enthusiast, an engineer, and a builder. Where he sees a world of possibility in a pile of Lego, without clear instructions and a plan I see clutter and confusion. Where I see a mess of sticks, he sees a potential fort. Nothing exemplifies this more than the following example: One Saturday morning not long ago I asked Desi to clean up “a world of possibility” from the middle of the floor. He agreed, and I returned a [...]

STEAM Engines: Rube Goldberg Machines2021-07-20T13:04:17-06:00

Designing the Perfect Paper Airplane

2021-06-01T08:11:55-06:00

One of my most popular programs is also the least expensive and easiest to set up.  All I need are a pile of regular copier paper, a pile of copier paper cut into squares, 2 - 4 large pieces of bulletin board paper with giant targets drawn/painted on them, and the books we'll be using on display in the "engineering and design area," ready to be thumbed through, studied, and used.  A roll of masking tape comes in really handy, too.  Having a paper recycling receptacle for the fallen, crashed, and stepped upon makes clean up go a lot faster.  Just [...]

Designing the Perfect Paper Airplane2021-06-01T08:11:55-06:00

(Resource List) do your :bit Challenge with BBC’s micro:bit

2021-04-26T09:59:26-06:00

do your :bit Challenge with BBC’s micro:bit – Link Bank Presenters Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Brooks Mitchell Space Science Institute bmitchell@spacescience.org Webinar Recording: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/development/webinars/ do your :bit Challenge Resources do your :bit Challenge Description: https://microbit.org/projects/do-your-bit/ do your :bit Activities http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/174-do-your-bit Circulation Kit Material List http://www.starnetlibraries.org/2020/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Microbit-Kit-Material-List.pdf Patron Instruction Sheet http://www.starnetlibraries.org/2020/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Patron-Instruction-Sheet.pdf U.N. Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being (with related activities) https://microbit.org/projects/do-your-bit/global-goals/good-health-wellbeing/ U.N. Goal 13: Climate Action https://microbit.org/projects/do-your-bit/global-goals/climate-action/ do your :bit Entry Form https://form.jotform.com/201812404053340 Micro:bit Resources BBC micro:bit: https://www.microbit.org/ United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development https://microbit.org/projects/do-your-bit/global-goals/introducing-the-global-goals/ Microsoft MakeCode https://microbit.org/code/ Free STAR Net Resources Join STAR Net: http://www.starnetlibraries.org/community/ STEM Activity [...]

(Resource List) do your :bit Challenge with BBC’s micro:bit2021-04-26T09:59:26-06:00

All the Many Observatories in Space! Build Your Own Space Fleet

2021-05-28T21:43:22-06:00

Today is the first Friday in May.  That means it is National Space Day! What better way to celebrate the day is there than by building your own fleet of model space observatories? On the NASA website there are printable models of a number of spacecraft.  Links to all of the models can be found on the Universe Spacecraft Paper Models page.  There you can download and print: The Great Observatories: Hubble Space Telescope (First of the Great Observatories) Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Second of the Great Observatories) Chandra X-Ray Telescope (Third of the Great Telescopes) Fermi Gravity Probe B James [...]

All the Many Observatories in Space! Build Your Own Space Fleet2021-05-28T21:43:22-06:00

Learn to Facilitate Creative Learning in Public Libraries

2021-04-16T08:30:50-06:00

We’re excited to announce that the PLIX (Public Library Innovation Exchange) team is launching a four-week online course starting April 26th on the topic of Facilitating Creative Learning. This is a chance to delve into the facilitation side of creative learning, exploring some big ideas as well as practical tips around leadership and implementation of STEAM activities. PLIX connects public library professionals and MIT Media Lab researchers to co-design learning experiences, develop and share facilitation practices, and integrate creative learning into public library programming. PLIX strives to increase equitable access to and broaden participation in STEAM programming.  Recently, STAR Net met [...]

Learn to Facilitate Creative Learning in Public Libraries2021-04-16T08:30:50-06:00

Everyone Knows What Engineering is! – Right?

2021-05-28T21:40:37-06:00

We all know the word.  We hear it just about every day.  We see it all the time. Engineer The E in STEM, STEAM, and STREAM stands for engineering. But do we know what the word actually means?  What is engineering?  What do engineers do? Of all the letters in STREAM, I think the E has changed more than all the others, growing, evolving, expanding, adding dimensions and details.  I decided to spend some time exploring the meaning of the word engineering, the history of engineering, and just how much the work of engineers influences our day to day lives. Let’s [...]

Everyone Knows What Engineering is! – Right?2021-05-28T21:40:37-06:00

10, 9, 8, 7….3, 2, 1, Launch America!!!

2020-05-26T22:12:05-06:00

I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe, and socially distanced Memorial Day Holiday! Now to prepare for the historic event tomorrow that will mark the first launch of American astronauts into space in an American rocket from an American launchpad since the shuttle program was retired in 2011. The crew for this mission are Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley:                   They will be launching from Launch Complex 39A in a SpaceX Crew Dragon carried into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket.  The lift-off is scheduled for 4:33 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 27. For special access to additional information, [...]

10, 9, 8, 7….3, 2, 1, Launch America!!!2020-05-26T22:12:05-06:00

Robotics With Cubelets

2019-10-03T18:32:04-06:00

  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 divided into ' Sense Cubes,' 'Think Cubes,' and 'Act Cubes.' The Sense Cubes in the kit I have access to are modules that have light sensors, and distance (proximity) sensors.  The Power Cube is also the processor for the robot.  The action cubes include cubes with [...]

Robotics With Cubelets2019-10-03T18:32:04-06:00
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