Designing the Perfect Paper Airplane

2021-06-01T08:11:55-06:00

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

All the Many Observatories in Space! Build Your Own Space Fleet

2021-05-28T21:43:22-06:00

Today is the first Friday in May.  That means it is National Space Day! What better way to celebrate the day is there than by building your own fleet of model space observatories? On the NASA website there are printable models of a number of spacecraft.  Links to all of the models can be found on the Universe Spacecraft Paper Models page.  There you can download and print: The Great Observatories: Hubble Space Telescope (First of the Great Observatories) Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Second of the Great Observatories) Chandra X-Ray Telescope (Third of the Great Telescopes) Fermi Gravity Probe B James [...]

All the Many Observatories in Space! Build Your Own Space Fleet2021-05-28T21:43:22-06:00

Everyone Knows What Engineering is! – Right?

2021-05-28T21:40:37-06:00

We all know the word.  We hear it just about every day.  We see it all the time. Engineer The E in STEM, STEAM, and STREAM stands for engineering. But do we know what the word actually means?  What is engineering?  What do engineers do? Of all the letters in STREAM, I think the E has changed more than all the others, growing, evolving, expanding, adding dimensions and details.  I decided to spend some time exploring the meaning of the word engineering, the history of engineering, and just how much the work of engineers influences our day to day lives. Let’s [...]

Everyone Knows What Engineering is! – Right?2021-05-28T21:40:37-06:00

Robotics With Cubelets

2019-10-03T18:32:04-06:00

  Over the last year or so, I've done a number of programs using Cubelets.  For anyone unfamiliar with them, they are cube-shaped modules that connect to one another magnetically to create 'robots.'  Each module has a single function.  There's a power Cube, that contains the rechargeable battery, and the On/Off switch.  The rest are divided into ' Sense Cubes,' 'Think Cubes,' and 'Act Cubes.' The Sense Cubes in the kit I have access to are modules that have light sensors, and distance (proximity) sensors.  The Power Cube is also the processor for the robot.  The action cubes include cubes with [...]

Robotics With Cubelets2019-10-03T18:32:04-06:00

Thank you, NASA

2019-08-22T19:05:06-06:00

I want to begin today by apologizing for having disappeared for a while.  My disappearance wasn't by choice, but sharing my story does give me the opportunity to celebrate NASA, and everything it has accomplished over the last several decades. So, for any one who is curious, here's the story of my spring and summer... I was going about my day to day business, and enthusiastically planning my summer programs (which were going to be really great, by the way), when I woke up bright and early one day, sat up, put my feet on the floor to stand up, and [...]

Thank you, NASA2019-08-22T19:05:06-06:00

STAR Net + Infiniscope = Great Resources and Activities!!

2019-01-17T03:28:34-07:00

  Next Wednesday (January 23) two great resources will be coming together to help teachers and public librarians unite to create a wonderful summer experience for children all across the United States!  STAR_Net, a resource for librarians who provide STREAM programming, is uniting with Infiniscope, a resource used by teachers to teach science concepts, especially those related to space and astronomy.  This new alliance could really bring this summer's theme of "A Universe of Stories" to life for children and youth of all ages, and create a relationship between school and library that could serve to strengthen and reinforce student learning [...]

STAR Net + Infiniscope = Great Resources and Activities!!2019-01-17T03:28:34-07:00

Pumpkin STEMs!

2018-11-25T20:50:30-07:00

STEM programming and Halloween just sort of naturally go together. But I was looking for a slightly "less gross" way to connect the two. Building and pumpkins don't seem to normally go in the same sentence, but we tried and it and had a blast! For the engineering portion of the program, I decided to use a variation on the marshmallows and spaghetti project building idea. I provided candy pumpkins and toothpicks for the building challenge. Candy Corn was also available, although none chose to build with it. They were allowed as many candy pumpkins as they needed, and both flat [...]

Pumpkin STEMs!2018-11-25T20:50:30-07:00

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos

2018-11-19T21:28:33-07:00

            How do you decide if an event is a success? Usually the number of people in attendance is a good indicator, and one that the state wants us to report. But what if you only have three people from your intended audience attend? Can you still call that a successful event? To celebrate the end of World Space Week in October, we held Camp Cosmos at one of the local parks. We had paper rockets launched by compressed air, made space packs, offered "moon sand" to play in, made galaxy art, and more. It was a [...]

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos2018-11-19T21:28:33-07:00

Transportation at the Depot

2017-06-27T21:33:33-06:00

Taking the STEAM concept in a slightly different direction, last week we hosted a program at the Depot Park all about transportation. This is always a popular theme, and since we were meeting at the Depot (as in train!) Park, it seemed like a natural fit. The Erlanger Depot Museum is one of the last remaining buildings of its kind in the United States. The museum building itself is an historic landmark. It’s a wooden railroad depot that was built in 1877 and remained in operation for nearly 100 years. When the building was closed by the railroad, the Erlanger Historical Society [...]

Transportation at the Depot2017-06-27T21:33:33-06:00

Join the Rage! DIY Fidget Spinners

2017-06-24T13:01:08-06:00

      I came across an interesting new type of toy online a few months ago - fidget spinners.  They're advertised as good for nail chewers, autistic people, children and adults with OCD, ADHD, and a variety of other conditions and issues.  I don't know about all that, but I do know they are kinda fun to play with, and now I see them everywhere, including spinning up a storm in the hands of library customers. I've also discovered that people are designing new styles, shapes, and forms of fidget spinners all the time.  Being ever on the lookout for [...]

Join the Rage! DIY Fidget Spinners2017-06-24T13:01:08-06:00
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