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

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

Evaluating STEAM Experiences

Earlier this month I participated in a forum about library makerspaces and how we evaluate engagement and measure success. Since my library’s equivalent of a makerspace is STEAM focused, I used my time at the forum to reflect on how I have been evaluating the BOOMbox and related STEAM programming for youth.  End of

By |August 30th, 2019|Categories: General, Informal Learning|0 Comments

Thank you, NASA

I want to begin today by apologizing for having disappeared for a while.  My disappearance wasn't by choice, but sharing my story does give me the opportunity to celebrate NASA, and everything it has accomplished over the last several decades. So, for any one who is curious, here's the story of my spring and summer...

By |August 22nd, 2019|Categories: General, NASA, Science, Technology, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |1 Comment

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! 

Community Video Gaming

Video games continue to be a source of community based learning and entertainment for youth and teens at Skokie Public Library. We have embraced this and provide multiple channels for youth and teens to participate either individually or as a group. But we really value group gaming as it supports collaboration, communication, and community, which

By |March 26th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Technology|0 Comments

STAR Net + Infiniscope = Great Resources and Activities!!

  Next Wednesday (January 23) two great resources will be coming together to help teachers and public librarians unite to create a wonderful summer experience for children all across the United States!  STAR_Net, a resource for librarians who provide STREAM programming, is uniting with Infiniscope, a resource used by teachers to teach science concepts, especially

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