Family Science Expo

2017-02-10T14:19:27-07:00

At the end of January, we hosted our fourth annual Family Science Expo here at Skokie Public Library. When we first offered the all-ages family event in winter 2014, we used the same model pioneered by one of our nearby libraries, Des Plaines Public Library: we offered access to a variety of exhibitors from local science-related businesses as well as representatives from STEAM societies and organizations. At that time, we didn’t yet offer a lot of science programming led by library staff on a regular basis. In the years since, however, we’ve really amped up our STEAM programming throughout the year--which [...]

Family Science Expo2017-02-10T14:19:27-07:00

DIY Giant Bubbles

2016-09-16T12:03:01-06:00

The last weeks of summer are a great time to take science outside. At Skokie Public Library, we featured giant bubbles and bubble wand making at two outdoor events, one at a local school and one in conjunction with a bookmobile visit in the community. Here’s what we did. Photo by Andrew Dworek Two staff members were present to help with setting up the supplies and to assist participants with making wands and blowing bubbles. Supplies included water, liquid dish soap, yarn or string, scissors, plastic straws, and vegetable glycerin, plus a few plastic wash tubs for mixing the [...]

DIY Giant Bubbles2016-09-16T12:03:01-06:00

Roller Coaster Family Challenge

2016-08-11T12:40:00-06:00

Long collaborative coaster We’ve been exploring all things architecture this summer in the BOOMbox, Skokie Public Library’s experiential learning STEAM space. I’ve mentioned a foray into preschool programming around the architecture theme in a previous post, and now I’m glad to share a challenge aimed at this school-age audience. We just hosted our second architecture-themed STEAM family challenge of the summer: it’s a one-hour program for youth in kindergarten through 5th grade with their adult caregiver called Mission: BOOMbox. This program’s challenge was to design, build, and test the ultimate indoor roller coaster using a combination of various building [...]

Roller Coaster Family Challenge2016-08-11T12:40:00-06:00

Who Does Lego Wedo? We Do!

2016-07-01T12:02:40-06:00

By Maija McLaughlin, Director of Digital Access, Fayetteville Free Library Since January of this year, the Fayetteville Free Library has been running a monthly Lego WeDo program for children K-2nd.    For several years, the library has facilitated programs for teens and middle schoolers utilizing Lego robotics platforms such Lego MindStorm.  Our savvy patrons and parents asked “Is there Lego robotics programming for younger children?”  Enter Lego WeDo.  WeDo is a lego robotics kit which can make 9 different robots.  The robots include an alligator, a drumming gorilla, a man in a boat, a lion and the list goes on.  Once the [...]

Who Does Lego Wedo? We Do!2016-07-01T12:02:40-06:00

Tumbling Around With Tumblewings and Walking Along With Walkalongs

2016-06-12T23:47:07-06:00

Do you know how to make a telephone book fly? One page at a time, of course! Kids (and adults, as well) can have a great time learning about air flow, aerodynamics, creative paper engineering, and patience, with nothing more expensive or hard to acquire than an old phone book, a large piece of cardboard, a drinking straw or two, tape, and a pair of scissors.  Oh, yeah, you'll need a large room, as well. The internet offers several different patterns that can be freely printed and used to make tumblewings, also known as walkalong gliders.  Here are a few examples [...]

Tumbling Around With Tumblewings and Walking Along With Walkalongs2016-06-12T23:47:07-06:00

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

Paper Airplane Challenge!

2016-05-18T15:06:55-06:00

Last week my Crafternoon participants (with a few moms and one teen-aged sister included) enjoyed a paper plane tournament.  It was a wonderful, low cost, quick prep program which everyone enjoyed thoroughly. I collected all the paper airplane books that my library system owned, added quite a few that I bought online, and had them laid out on tables around the room.  I made sure that I had paper of the correct dimensions available, as well.  Most of the books that I used required standard 8 1/2 x 11 letter size paper, but a few called for 6" x 6" squares.          [...]

Paper Airplane Challenge!2016-05-18T15:06:55-06:00
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