Citizen Science Spotlight – A Dragonfly Mystery


Dragonflies are amazing insects, their existence dates back approximately 300 million years, and some even consider good luck. They've also plagued experts for years with their migratory patterns. Thanks to help from citizen scientists, experts were able to not only solve the mystery, but document significant and unprecedented life cycle findings. Insects normally fall into two life cycle categories: nymph or pupa. Essentially, it's how insects spend their awkward teen years. Some insects live as a pupa, like a caterpillar; a wormy like existance before completely rearranging themselves into their adult form. Other species live as nymphs, like dragonflies, which are [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – A Dragonfly Mystery2021-05-26T21:49:34-06:00

Citizen Science Spotlight – Frogs!


Many people have recently looked to outdoor activities for entertainment. We're in the thick of spring, and nature has started showing signs of life. There is so much to do, and so much to observe outside! Of course, there are plenty of citizen science opportunities to take advantage of as well. Frogs are an indicator species. This means that they can indicate the ecological health of a geographic area. They are very sensitive to environmental changes, so any variance can affect their presence in the ecosystem. They are an integral part of the wetland food chain, being both predator and prey, [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – Frogs!2021-05-26T21:50:47-06:00

Citizen Science Spotlight – Trees!


There are so many opportunities to help scientist monitor your local environment. Did you know that you can identify and document trees for science? Identifying trees is less intimidating because they don't move around, but there are a lot more variables than you might originally think. You've got the leaf buds, leaf shape, leaf grow patterns, bark, fruit, and more. Tree identification can be done in any season. Citizen scientists can report trees to provide a look into the species diversity and health of nearby wooded areas. Technology pairs and aids citizen science efforts yet again with websites like Arbor Day [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – Trees!2021-05-23T19:47:07-06:00

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

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

Electric Aviation Is Here


Some people think NASA is all about space exploration, and although that is a significant part of the work they do, the first "A" in NASA stands for Aeronautics. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded in 1958. At that time all of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) facilities were absorbed into the newly formed NASA. The NACA facilities were created in 1915 to research aviation concerns such as aerodynamics, flight testing of new designs, safety, increased performance and increased altitude. NASA continues this ongoing work today with a new series of experimental or X-planes. An exciting [...]

Electric Aviation Is Here2021-05-20T10:24:22-06:00

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

NASA’s Artemis Team Wants to Talk to you!


Request a virtual chat with NASA’s Artemis Team!!  Artemis Program engineers, managers and communicators are available for a limited number of virtual events during the months of June, July, August and September. You may request a private virtual chat for an in person/virtual summer program or a publicly streamed event on your institution’s Facebook or YouTube page.   The virtual chats must take place Monday – Friday during business hours, 9:00-5:00 Central.  Each live event may last up to 60 minutes and are perfect for summer camps and special events. Virtual Events are limited to one per institution and must have [...]

NASA’s Artemis Team Wants to Talk to you!2021-05-11T08:52:02-06:00

Mission: Control the Spread


The COVID-19 pandemic at the very least has caused changes and disruption in all our lives, and in some cases it has been much much worse. Through news reports and social media we have been made aware of some of the individuals and organizations combatting the virus. So many are involved in this effort, you may even be surprised to know that NASA has been part of the national effort to fight the pandemic. A recent ten-panel info-graphic exhibition produced by Space Center Houston provides more details on how the special talents of the space agency were brought in to find [...]

Mission: Control the Spread2021-05-04T14:07:20-06:00
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