A Chill in the Air and Color in the Trees

2021-01-27T16:42:42-07:00

There's been a bit of a chill in the air the last week or so, a frequent thumping on the roof of pecans falling out of the tree in the yard, and a sense of frantic feasting radiating from the hummingbirds who frequent the feeders on my porch.  Autumn is here. One of my favorite things to do as the seasons slip away from summer and toward winter is to walk through wooded areas and collect brightly colored leaves.  This is something my mother did with me as a very young child on my great grandparents' farm.  I still have the [...]

A Chill in the Air and Color in the Trees2021-01-27T16:42:42-07:00

Build Your Own Solar System and Resource Update

2020-05-20T23:47:31-06:00

Hello everyone!  I hope everyone is healthy and at home. To start off, I want to share this really cool resource I found this morning, and which has kept me distracted (granted that isn't hard to do) for longer than I care to admit.  It's an online game in which you get to create your own solar system, and watch it develop through time.  Thankfully it isn't real time, or we'd be waiting for interesting developments for a veeerrrry loooooooong time.  Instead, it passes through a million years every minute. That's 1,000,000 years every minute.  Keep an eye on it the [...]

Build Your Own Solar System and Resource Update2020-05-20T23:47:31-06:00

February is Feed the Birds Month!

2020-02-18T19:52:37-07:00

On February 23, 1994, February was declared 'National Bird Feeding Month' by Congress. If you want to narrow things down to one day, February 3 is 'Feed the Birds Day.' February is one of the hardest months of the year for many animals in North America, especially those who depend on seeds and plants for food. That would make it the perfect time to start a new hobby - bird watching!  According to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 45 million people in the country participate in bird watching at home and at work.  It doesn't require special skills [...]

February is Feed the Birds Month!2020-02-18T19:52:37-07:00

Art Magic With Markers

2019-10-04T12:10:07-06:00

I've had the opportunity lately to do something that I haven't been able to do in a very long time - ART! There are few things as much fun as taking brilliant colors mixing them on paper to create wonderful things.  It is important for children to have the opportunity to just play with color, and discover the the wonder of it while learning how color works and blends.  That is the very best way to learn color theory. These days there are a multitude of resources available with which to play with color.  I've come across some great ones recently, [...]

Art Magic With Markers2019-10-04T12:10:07-06:00

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

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

Infiniscope Activity for the Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse

2019-01-05T15:42:01-07:00

Happy New Year everyone! For anyone interested in space, space exploration, astronomy, and NASA, this year has begun with a bang! Just after the new year began on the east coast, the New Horizons successfully passed within 2,200 miles of the Kuiper Belt object named Ultima Thule, collected data, including great pictures which have already solved some intense debates, sent the data back to earth, and is now headed onward through the Kuiper Belt toward the outer edge of our solar system.  Hopefully, it will get the opportunity to do a fly-by of another of the oldest objects in our solar [...]

Infiniscope Activity for the Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse2019-01-05T15:42:01-07:00

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

A Visit With Master Artists and Teachers – Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander

2018-11-23T19:14:08-07:00

A local museum is hosting an exhibit entitled "Origami in the Garden" until March of 2019.  It's a fantastic series of metal sculptures based on origami designs scattered throughout the gardens of the museum.    As part of the exhibit's kick-off activities, Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander, master origamists, were invited to visit local schools and to teach workshops at the Botanic Garden.  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one of their workshops.  It was great! Using giant squares of paper and the wall as their flat surface, Michael and Richard showed a group of about 25 how [...]

A Visit With Master Artists and Teachers – Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander2018-11-23T19:14:08-07:00

Making Coding Fun and Easy

2018-10-26T12:25:00-06:00

This year I started adding something new to some of my programs - coding.  It has been a whole new adventure for me.  When I was in school, computers in education were a new concept.  There was a room with several desktop computers with large towers connected to them.  Those computers required 6 inch floppy disks, were programmed with DOS, and sat there quietly in the dark most of the time.  I only had one teacher brave enough to try teaching with them.  Over the course of one semester, we learned some very basic programming, which I thought was fun, but [...]

Making Coding Fun and Easy2018-10-26T12:25:00-06:00
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