The Dirt on Soil

2017-07-15T06:38:52-06:00

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 two days of the program, we introduced the theme with the books Mud Puddle, by Robert Munsch, and Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud that Changed Baseball, by David A. Kelly. Both adults and kids were astonished to learn that the miracle mud of the story is [...]

The Dirt on Soil2017-07-15T06:38:52-06:00

Geology Rocks!

2017-06-23T22:03:57-06:00

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 lots of good geology vocabulary, including discussion of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock, and the rock cycle. It talked about minerals, fossils, and more. Poetry from Earthshake included such concepts as the layers found within the earth, and reiterated about fossils, minerals, and the rock cycle [...]

Geology Rocks!2017-06-23T22:03:57-06:00

Tree-mendous Mini Camp a tremendous success!

2017-05-01T08:00:28-06:00

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 each day on a Tuesday and Wednesday, we hosted a total of nearly 125 students, teachers, and parents to celebrate trees. My library branch is in a community which includes two public school systems- a county system and a city system- as well as a number [...]

Tree-mendous Mini Camp a tremendous success!2017-05-01T08:00:28-06:00

Tomatoes in Containers!

2017-04-28T07:47:05-06:00

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 grow successfully, and how to care for the plants. The program was scheduled at 2:00 pm on a weekday, with the idea that it would be accessible for the students out of school for spring break. However, it was also advertised directly to the home schoolers [...]

Tomatoes in Containers!2017-04-28T07:47:05-06:00

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

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

Bringing the Indoors Out

2016-07-27T15:52:25-06:00

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 is far better to take the indoors out... to move the program out "into nature" or at least to an open air outdoor setting! In June, the Kenton County (KY) Public Library debuted an outdoor environmental education program series at a local city park. By partnering with [...]

Bringing the Indoors Out2016-07-27T15:52:25-06:00

Three Little Pigs and the Budding Architects

2016-06-09T11:32:04-06:00

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 the BOOMbox theme, we offer a STEAM program designed for preschoolers (ages 3-5 with an adult caregiver) every other month. Science Club Jr., as we shared in a previous post, aims to equip youth participants with background knowledge to understand foundational science concepts at a very [...]

Three Little Pigs and the Budding Architects2016-06-09T11:32:04-06:00
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