Sitting on Cloud Nine with NASA GLOBE Observer

2018-04-19T17:42:43-06:00

This Earth Day, I hope you will be sitting on cloud nine* with these last-minute tips and ideas for bringing NASA GLOBE Observer Clouds and citizen science into your library.  Best of all these are evergreen - not just for April 22! TIPS AND TRICKS Brush up on Cloud Observing with these simple tips and tricks from NASA’s GLOBE Clouds Team lead, Marilé Colón Robles, to sharpen your cloud observation skills while using the GLOBE Observer App. You can also watch the STAR Net March 6 Webinar with NASA scientists for a refresher. We’ve also created a PowerPoint file with [...]

Sitting on Cloud Nine with NASA GLOBE Observer2018-04-19T17:42:43-06:00

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

What is an Eclipse, Anyway? Create an Eclipse to Prepare for the Eclipse

2017-08-16T19:58:30-06:00

Like most everyone in the country, I'm getting ready for the eclipse.  The local science museum, about a mile away from my branch, will be hosting a viewing on the lawn on the day of the eclipse.  But me?... I'll be driving wherever I have to go to see totality.  I have my glasses (the proper, safe ones), I have my guide books to the best places to go to get the best view, I've rented a car that's in much better condition than mine, made my grocery list of snack foods to load into the rented car (some healthy, and [...]

What is an Eclipse, Anyway? Create an Eclipse to Prepare for the Eclipse2017-08-16T19:58:30-06:00

Hands-on STEM: Scale Model of Sun and Earth

2017-05-23T14:30:50-06:00

While we all know that the Sun is very big and very far away, its actual size and distance from Earth can be hard concepts to grasp. Many Solar System models that we see inaccurately display the relative size of the Sun compared to the planets, and almost all models inaccurately display the true distance between Solar System objects. This isn't due to a lack of astronomical knowledge, but rather the amount of space that an accurate model would require! For example: an accurate model with a marble-sized (one inch in diameter) Earth would call for a nine-foot wide Sun and [...]

Hands-on STEM: Scale Model of Sun and Earth2017-05-23T14:30:50-06:00

Meteors, Moon Phases, and Sky Maps; Oh My!

2017-05-08T08:00:27-06:00

April was a good time for Astronomy programs, with the Lyrid Meteor Shower on Earth Day this year. We held two different programs in anticipation of the shower; one in the library, and one in a local county park. The program Meet a Meteor began with some meteor basics, including this "What's Up in April" video from NASA. https://youtu.be/r7RHlKVd87M A second video, specifically about the 2015 Lyrid meteor shower, was shared as well. Even though it is an older video, it references Earth Day and includes a good description of what a meteor shower is. The Earth Day Meteor Shower video can [...]

Meteors, Moon Phases, and Sky Maps; Oh My!2017-05-08T08:00:27-06:00

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse!

2017-02-20T04:45:43-07:00

What exactly is a penumbral  lunar eclipse? We recently had the good fortune to be able to explore this in a library program. In a rare event, several circumstances aligned to allow us the opportunity to talk about eclipses, view one as it happened, and help build excitement for the upcoming solar eclipse. Even though Friday evening programs are not typically well-attended, this was a program that really piqued the public's interest! 75 people of a wide range of ages attended the event to learn about the eclipse, practice some "hands-on eclipse-making," and view the eclipse through the library's telescope. We [...]

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse!2017-02-20T04:45:43-07:00

What If? to Oh Cool! The Scientific Method Put to Work Launching Stomp Rockets

2016-06-08T18:55:32-06:00

      How can  kids use the scientific method to develop better, higher flying paper rockets, or, better yet, shock the administrators on the third floor?  It's easy! For the last several years, I've been doing stomp rocket programs at my library.  Whether it's during summer reading club or in the middle of the school year, it always draws quite an good crowd.  The pre-program preparation requires a fair amount of work, but it's both fun and the results make it worth the effort involved.  Each time I do the program,  I add a bit more experimentation to the kids' activities. [...]

What If? to Oh Cool! The Scientific Method Put to Work Launching Stomp Rockets2016-06-08T18:55:32-06:00

An Even Briefer History of Time – Time, Deep Time, and The Enormity of Space

2016-05-09T12:47:33-06:00

--This is the full version of an article that originally appeared in the Anythink Library System Newspaper-- Have you ever noticed that the older you get; the more time seems to fly? When you were four years old, desperately waiting for your family vacation, it seemed like it would never come. And once you got there, it seemed like you were there for almost forever. Now, the wait for that same trip may seem like there's not enough time to even pack, and once you’re there, it’s over in an instant. In everyday life, this phenomenon is just a matter of [...]

An Even Briefer History of Time – Time, Deep Time, and The Enormity of Space2016-05-09T12:47:33-06:00

Life on Mars: Citizen Science for Upper Elementary

2016-04-21T09:41:12-06:00

One of my favorite STEM programs combines the awe factor of potentially living on Mars and the positive impact of Citizen Science. This “Life on Mars” program was presented to youth in grades 3-5 at Skokie Public Library and would work well through grade 6. Citizen Science, where the general public contributes to science research, is resurfacing with the help of online platforms--like Zooniverse--that curate various Citizen Science projects to support research in areas like space, climate, social science, and art. Emphasize the importance of Citizen Science to youth in the library: when non-scientists are doing scientific work for the betterment [...]

Life on Mars: Citizen Science for Upper Elementary2016-04-21T09:41:12-06:00

Explore! Marvel Moon Free NASA Webinar

2016-03-29T18:28:10-06:00

I recently received this e-mail from Christine Shupla, with the Lunar and Planetary Institute.  I hope she doesn't mind my forwarding her announcement. I've attended some of these webinars in the past, and they are fantastic, as well as a lot of fun!  I remember one where we created the phases of the moon by taking bites out of Oreos.  At the same workshop, we created the layers of the earth with Rice Krispie Treats and other candies.  I gained pounds of knowledge... and sugar calories.  It was great!  Of course, I don't think they actually intended for the participants to [...]

Explore! Marvel Moon Free NASA Webinar2016-03-29T18:28:10-06:00
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