Celebrate the Bees – World Bee Day

2021-05-29T08:08:07-06:00

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

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

FrankenCreatures!

2018-11-25T19:40:54-07:00

Who among us hasn't at some point just put out a bunch of materials and told the kids "have at it!"? We did that in our STREAM Center for a pre-Halloween program, and it was way more fun that we anticipated! There were a large number of the parents who stayed with their kids and created right along with them, even though their attendance wasn't strictly mandatory at the program. We had a wide range of materials, from paper tubes to wiggle eyes. We had access to tape and glue, along with rubber bands, paper clips, and binder clips. There were [...]

FrankenCreatures!2018-11-25T19:40:54-07:00

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

Seeing Stars!

2018-07-30T20:14:58-06:00

Indoor astronomy is a great way to light up the night! We recently did that, both figuratively and literally. I have done a fairly large number of astronomy programs in the past 5 or 6 years, both with and without the library's 8" Dobsonian telescope; both indoors and out. I want these programs to be both about learning and fun... I want to encourage kids and their adults to spend time looking at the sky when they are outside, even if they aren't sure what they are looking at or for. Since the moon is an easy place to start, I [...]

Seeing Stars!2018-07-30T20:14:58-06:00

Celebrating Rockets’ Red Glare!

2018-07-03T22:52:45-06:00

On Monday, we celebrated America's birthday with some STEM activities! As always, we started with some reading, and I intentionally chose books that included images of fireworks. I also included a number of non-fiction Independence Day titles in my book display, along with this title: We started by reading A is for America, by Devin Scilian, then read Happy Birthday, America, by Mary Pope Osborne.  In keeping with the "rockets' red glare," theme, I decided to try two different activities, and both worked very well. The main activity was the creation of paper rockets which we launched with a stomp rocket launcher. [...]

Celebrating Rockets’ Red Glare!2018-07-03T22:52:45-06:00

Paper Spheres: Experimentation with Decoration

2017-12-28T21:50:11-07:00

Leading up to the holidays, people are often busy buying gifts and decorating their homes.  So, this year, I decided to offer different decorative crafts each week in December.  One of the most popular was the paper spheres.  The craft is simple to do, and only requires strips of paper, a hole punch, and brads (or bent paper clips) to complete.  Being simple in its execution allows for crafters to put their focus on creativity and originality.  They can also make more at home themselves, or as a family activity of they so choose, with a short list of easy to [...]

Paper Spheres: Experimentation with Decoration2017-12-28T21:50:11-07:00

Paper Engineering Workshop for Tweens

2017-05-03T19:35:56-06:00

During spring break this year, I tried a new program aimed specifically for 8-12 year olds.  We met each afternoon for two hours to work on creating paper automata.  I had a limit of 25 participants, and required pre-registration in order to attend.  Registration started out slow, and about the time I began to get concerned that I wouldn't have enough registrants, all my slots filled up.  The kids were as excited as I was to try out this new craft program. We started out with fairly simple mechanisms, which could be completed in the two hour time frame.  The first [...]

Paper Engineering Workshop for Tweens2017-05-03T19:35:56-06:00

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
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