The Dirt on Soil

This week at the Depot Park, we braved threatening thunderstorms, rain, and high humidity to learn the dirt on soils! Using both fiction and non-fictions books, we introduced the topics of soil, dirt, and mud before studying different types of soil, modeling the concept of percolation, making model soil horizons, and mud painting. Over the

Geology Rocks!

This week, as part of my Summer Reading Depot Days programs in the park series, we addressed geology; and it rocked! As usual we began the program with some good books, including A Rock is Lively, by Dianna Hutts Aston, and Earthshake: Poems From The Ground Up, by Lisa Westberg Peters. A Rock is Lively gave us

Tree-mendous Mini Camp a tremendous success!

Taking advantage of connections to the county parks department, spring weather, and spring break, we tried a new program idea this spring. A Tree-mendous Mini Camp was held on two days in a local county park; we did a variety of tree-related activities, learning games, reading, crafting, and more. For two and a half hours

Tomatoes in Containers!

We recently made use of Spring Break to host a program presented by our local agricultural Extension Agent. The horticulture agent came to our library to present a program all about tomatoes! She and her assistant talked about different varieties of tomatoes, a little bit of the history of the tomato, what they need to

Family Science Expo

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

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!

         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

Bringing the Indoors Out

There has been a movement towards bringing the natural world into programming more. More often than not, this involves bringing "nature" indoors in some fashion, whether by working with natural leaves, sticks, or other materials or even animals; or by doing activities which imitate nature in some way. It could be argued, however, that it

Three Little Pigs and the Budding Architects

Skokie Public Library’s experiential learning space, the BOOMbox, focuses on a different STEAM theme every four months, providing tools and inspiration to learn more about a topic through hands on experimentation. While this space is intended for youth, teens, and adults, it is not developmentally appropriate for children younger than kindergarten So, in conjunction with

By |June 9th, 2016|Categories: Engineering, Informal Learning, Pre-School, Science, STEM, Vocabulary|0 Comments

Move Over iPads, Kindles in the Spotlight

  Over this past summer my department added a regular Gadget Lab to our Summer Reading Club programming.  I had the opportunity to offer Kindle Fire HDs and iPad Minis for my school-aged participants to learn to use and play with.  Initially the program was offered every other week, but an advertising mistake gave me

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