Pumpkin STEMs!

2018-11-25T20:50:30-07:00

STEM programming and Halloween just sort of naturally go together. But I was looking for a slightly "less gross" way to connect the two. Building and pumpkins don't seem to normally go in the same sentence, but we tried and it and had a blast! For the engineering portion of the program, I decided to use a variation on the marshmallows and spaghetti project building idea. I provided candy pumpkins and toothpicks for the building challenge. Candy Corn was also available, although none chose to build with it. They were allowed as many candy pumpkins as they needed, and both flat [...]

Pumpkin STEMs!2018-11-25T20:50:30-07:00

FrankenCreatures!

2018-11-25T19:40:54-07:00

Who among us hasn't at some point just put out a bunch of materials and told the kids "have at it!"? We did that in our STREAM Center for a pre-Halloween program, and it was way more fun that we anticipated! There were a large number of the parents who stayed with their kids and created right along with them, even though their attendance wasn't strictly mandatory at the program. We had a wide range of materials, from paper tubes to wiggle eyes. We had access to tape and glue, along with rubber bands, paper clips, and binder clips. There were [...]

FrankenCreatures!2018-11-25T19:40:54-07:00

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos

2018-11-19T21:28:33-07:00

            How do you decide if an event is a success? Usually the number of people in attendance is a good indicator, and one that the state wants us to report. But what if you only have three people from your intended audience attend? Can you still call that a successful event? To celebrate the end of World Space Week in October, we held Camp Cosmos at one of the local parks. We had paper rockets launched by compressed air, made space packs, offered "moon sand" to play in, made galaxy art, and more. It was a [...]

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos2018-11-19T21:28:33-07:00

Science of Sound

2018-10-26T11:47:36-06:00

This fall our informal learning space, the BOOMbox, is exploring all things music. The rotation is 16 weeks long and we’re focusing on a different concept related to music about every two weeks. This month’s STEAM program for youth grades 3-5 aligned with the rotation and we explored the physics of sound in a hands on way by making membranophones, courtesy of the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Here’s what we did. Like previous Be the Scientist programs featured on the blog, the program began with an overview using a short slide presentation. This allows us to set the stage for the [...]

Science of Sound2018-10-26T11:47:36-06:00

Exploring Chemical Engineering

2018-07-30T19:35:21-06:00

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 chemical engineering. Please note these activities were intended to provide a foundation of chemistry knowledge. We used that as a starting point for discussing what chemical engineering is with participants, and how it affects us on a day to day basis. Here’s what we featured. We [...]

Exploring Chemical Engineering2018-07-30T19:35:21-06:00

Celebrating Rockets’ Red Glare!

2018-07-03T22:52:45-06:00

On Monday, we celebrated America's birthday with some STEM activities! As always, we started with some reading, and I intentionally chose books that included images of fireworks. I also included a number of non-fiction Independence Day titles in my book display, along with this title: We started by reading A is for America, by Devin Scilian, then read Happy Birthday, America, by Mary Pope Osborne.  In keeping with the "rockets' red glare," theme, I decided to try two different activities, and both worked very well. The main activity was the creation of paper rockets which we launched with a stomp rocket launcher. [...]

Celebrating Rockets’ Red Glare!2018-07-03T22:52:45-06:00

Exploring Civil Engineering

2018-06-10T21:25:18-06:00

This summer our STEAM space, the BOOMbox, is exploring engineering. We’re focusing on a different field of engineering every two weeks to help kids understand the breadth and overlap of this STEAM topic. While the BOOMbox offers drop-in experiences, our Be the Scientist program series for grades 3-5 provided a more structured exploration of civil engineering, specifically looking at bike paths in Skokie. Here’s what we did. We began with a short slide presentation to start discussion about what engineering is and why it is valuable. We also reviewed the seven steps of engineering design from Engineered! Engineering Design at Work [...]

Exploring Civil Engineering2018-06-10T21:25:18-06:00

Libraries and Engineers: Who Knew It Could Be So Much Fun?

2018-05-07T14:00:06-06:00

By Brooks Mitchell, Education Coordinator The best and the brightest of the library world came together with the best and the brightest of the civil engineering world in Denver, Colorado for the Project BUILD Workshop this April. I had the privilege of helping organize this event and, as is usual when working with librarians, feel that I learned just as many lessons as the workshop attendees! Professional stereotypes were shattered, laughs were shared, and literal and metaphoric bridges were built during this intensive 2-day workshop. Project BUILD aims to partner library staff with volunteers from the American Society of Civil Engineers [...]

Libraries and Engineers: Who Knew It Could Be So Much Fun?2018-05-07T14:00:06-06:00

STREAM of Learning at Kenton County Public Library

2018-02-08T20:40:00-07:00

Kenton County (KY) Public Library's Erlanger Branch has opened their new STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, Math) of Learning Center! It is the first public maker space in the Northern Kentucky area. After an extensive renovation/addition to the building, the new space and equipment are now available for public use and programming. With equipment as diverse as button makers and virtual reality equipment, there is a little something for everyone. Members of the public can schedule a one-on-one training session for any piece of equipment, following which they may schedule use time in one-hour increments. Group programs and training will [...]

STREAM of Learning at Kenton County Public Library2018-02-08T20:40:00-07:00

Building an ISS Model

2017-10-27T16:26:29-06:00

Our library is hosting the Explore Space: A Cosmic Journey exhibit* for the next two months, and as part of this special exhibit we have lined up several space-themed STEAM programs for youth in grades K-5. One of our first programs took place before the exhibit’s opening: a challenge-based family program where the goal was to build a model of the International Space Station using cardboard boxes and other on-hand materials. We were inspired to host this program after seeing cardboard construction activities at other libraries, and we adapted the concept to our community. Here’s what we did. Starting in June, [...]

Building an ISS Model2017-10-27T16:26:29-06:00
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