Look Up! Featured Activity – Make a Pinwheel Galaxy 


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 Make a Pinwheel Galaxy   Patrons design, cut-out, and assemble their own pinwheel galaxy in a fun STEAM craft!  Facilitate this activity at your library or print out the template and provide the craft materials for a Take & Make activity.   Time to complete: 10-20 minutes  Ages: 4 years and up, with teen or adult supervision.   Total cost:  $1-5  Fundamental Space Science Concepts – How Pinwheel Galaxy relates to JWST:  The Pinwheel Galaxy activity introduces the concept of a galaxy to patrons. Powerful telescopes study galaxies, including the first galaxies forming near [...]

Look Up! Featured Activity – Make a Pinwheel Galaxy 2021-07-26T08:25:57-06:00

Creating a Perpetual Nature Journal: A Sketchbook With a Twist


I've read about artists, especially botanical artists, that take years to finish a work of art, not because they were just super slow, but because they had to wait.  What did they have to wait for?  Nature. These artists would focus on a particular plant while it was in bloom or its fruit was ripe, or it was at some other particular stage in its yearly cycle that they wanted to portray.  Then, when the blooms faded, the fruit was gone, or the plant had moved on to another stage, that painting and its associated sketches were put away until the [...]

Creating a Perpetual Nature Journal: A Sketchbook With a Twist2021-05-30T09:10:51-06:00

STEAM Engines: Da Vinci Bridge


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

Nature Journaling – Art, Science, Observation, and Fun!


Folks know what Nature is. Folks know what a journal is. But Nature can't write... no thumbs, among other things. Sooo. . . what is a nature journal? That depends. If you are an adult, a nature journal is a fantastic way to get away from the hustle, bustle, and rush, and practice patience, observational skills, and art.  It can be an opportunity to get out and have an outdoor adventure.  Keeping a nature journal is a way to become acquainted or reacquainted with the natural world.  It can become the place where an artist or future artist takes notes and [...]

Nature Journaling – Art, Science, Observation, and Fun!2021-05-28T22:05:55-06:00

Look Up! Explore Our Universe Booklist


Age Ranges Infant ABCs of Space By Chris Ferrie and Julia Kregenow Good Night Galaxy by Adam Gamble, Mark Jasper and Cooper Kelly Launch Ladies: An Illustrated Look at the Women who Bring Us to Space! By Jamey Erickson & Leila McNeill, illustrated by Lydia Fusco Pre-K  Here we are : notes for living on planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers  Look Inside Space by Rob Lloyd Jones, Benedetta Giaufret and Enrica Rusiná Early Elementary A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman, Jeremy Arthur and Isabel Greenberg Always Looking Up: Nancy Grace Roman, Astronomer By Laura Gehl, illustrated by Louise Pigott [...]

Look Up! Explore Our Universe Booklist2021-06-08T18:29:11-06:00

STEAM Engines: Rube Goldberg Machines


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

(Resource List) Look Up! Explore Our Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Mission


(Resource List) Look Up! Explore Our Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Mission Look Up! Explore Our Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Mission – Link Bank Presenters Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Dr. Alexandra Lockwood JWST Science Communications alockwood@stsci.edu Yesenia PerezUniverse of Learningyperez@stsci.eduWebinar Recording: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/development/webinars/ James Webb Space Telescope Resources Look Up! Explore Our Universe Event Page https://www.starnetlibraries.org/look-up/Look Up! Explore Our Universe Clearinghouse Activity Collection http://www.starnetlibraries.org/look-up-explore-our-universe-booklist/ Look Up! Explore Our Universe Booklist http://www.starnetlibraries.org/look-up-explore-our-universe-booklist/ 21 Ways to Celebrate the Launch in 2021 from NASA  https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2021/21-ways-to-celebrate-the-james-webb-space-telescope-launch-in-2021  James Webb Space Telescope Website for Public Engagement Materials  https://webbtelescope.org/  Follow Webb using #NASAWebb on [...]

(Resource List) Look Up! Explore Our Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Mission2021-05-24T12:17:17-06:00

Celebrate the Bees – World Bee Day


On December 20, 2017, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously voted to declare May 20 World Bee Day. Why should we celebrate bees? Why not? The purpose of World Bee Day is to recognize more than just the most well-known of the bees - the European honey bee.  Many people don't know that the honey bee isn't native to North America.  It colonized the western hemisphere with the European settlers.  When the settlers arrived, though, this country already had plenty of bees of its own, some 4,000 different species actually, ranging in size from the world's smallest bee, the [...]

Celebrate the Bees – World Bee Day2021-05-29T08:08:07-06:00

Code Monsters: Computers and Social Emotional Learning at Skokie Library


Before I get too deep into this post, I feel I must confess that there was a time in my life when I was a skeptic about gaming in the library. This skepticism was based on a number of misconceptions, the best of them being that nebulous old chestnut “you’ll rot your brain,” and the worst of them being that it’s a highly addictive, antisocial activity with little room for creativity. The latter opinion was loosely based on my own experiences obsessively squandering many a perfect summer day in pursuit of eight pieces of Zelda’s triforce. Not that there’s anything wrong [...]

Code Monsters: Computers and Social Emotional Learning at Skokie Library2021-05-27T20:59:54-06:00

Designing the Perfect Paper Airplane


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
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