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

Stargazer Nights at Skokie Public Library

2017-06-30T07:49:05-06:00

Here at Skokie Public Library, one of our favorite seasonal recurring events is our Stargazer Night program. While we first started these all-ages programs in the spring of 2015 in conjunction with an exploration of microcosms and macrocosms in our BOOMbox, we’ve continued offering 5 or 6 of these programs each year. Here’s what we do. Families take a closer look at Jupiter and its moons during Stargazer Nights. First, we choose our dates for Stargazer Night programs. We check a local sunrise/sunset schedule so we know what months might be viable for a program. We’ve tended to find [...]

Stargazer Nights at Skokie Public Library2017-06-30T07:49:05-06:00

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

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

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!

2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

         The Lunar and Planetary Institute has done it again!  They have developed another delicious educational experience to share with libraries and educators - Edible Rocks. Who would want to try to eat a rock?  Just about everyone, when the "rocks" are chocolate bars, "Three Musketeers" (the candy, not the book or movie), "Nestle Crunch," and chocolate covered granola bars. In this activity, children learn and use terms that geologists use when studying and describing meteorites, except they will be using the terms to describe candy bars.  They also get the opportunity to draw their observations and write descriptions of [...]

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

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

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

Want to Be a Stellar Artist? Send Your Creative Arts Into Space

2016-02-19T19:20:21-07:00

I received this opportunity from Andrew Shaner of The Center for Lunar Science and Exploration: (This could be a great opportunity for a arts and science program for pre-schoolers, school-aged kids, and/or families.)   February 19, 2016 RELEASE 16-019 NASA Invites Public to Send Artwork to an Asteroid NASA is calling all space enthusiasts to send their artistic endeavors on a journey aboard NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft. This will be the first U.S. mission to collect a sample of an asteroid and return it to Earth for study. OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to launch in September [...]

Want to Be a Stellar Artist? Send Your Creative Arts Into Space2016-02-19T19:20:21-07:00
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