Paper Engineering

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

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

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

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

Cardboard Creations!

2016-10-17T16:28:16-06:00

What can you do with an hour, a large box, some assorted IKEA packing materials, a few plastic fasteners, and some kids? All kinds of cool things! We recently held another "open building" program at KCPL. This time, our building materials included one very large box, pieces of cardboard of various sizes, shapes, and thickness, some plastic hinges and fasteners, and plastic saw/punch tools. Those in attendance were given a few basic rules: 1. Only use the tools on the cardboard. :) 2. If you use the fasteners and take your creation home, the fasteners must be returned the next time [...]

Cardboard Creations!2016-10-17T16:28:16-06:00

3-D Origami – The Fun of Legos on a Much Smaller Budget

2016-08-06T16:18:05-06:00

Fate is a funny thing.  A few months ago I got ambitious one week, and wrote and published ( I thought) three blog articles.  Unbeknownst to me, it was the same week that the STAR_Net blog was being moved to its new home on this website.  For some reason, one of my articles made the move.  The other two disappeared into the ether.  I could have taken this experience as a reminder to always back up my work on at least one flash drive.  Instead, I decided it was the universe giving me the opportunity to work harder on my article. [...]

3-D Origami – The Fun of Legos on a Much Smaller Budget2016-08-06T16:18:05-06:00

Learn About Other Cultures While Getting Fit – Make Your Own Skill Toys

2016-07-21T18:48:55-06:00

                There's lots of research these days that supports the idea that a healthy body supports a healthy mind and intellect, improving one's ability to learn, understand, and retain information.  Cultures throughout history may or may not have made the connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind, but they did encourage physical training and health for their children, as well as their adults.  Often physical fitness was required for their very survival.  That's not so much the case in the technologically advanced societies of today.  Because we have become more sedentary, spending more [...]

Learn About Other Cultures While Getting Fit – Make Your Own Skill Toys2016-07-21T18:48:55-06:00

Paper Airplane Challenge!

2016-05-18T15:06:55-06:00

Last week my Crafternoon participants (with a few moms and one teen-aged sister included) enjoyed a paper plane tournament.  It was a wonderful, low cost, quick prep program which everyone enjoyed thoroughly. I collected all the paper airplane books that my library system owned, added quite a few that I bought online, and had them laid out on tables around the room.  I made sure that I had paper of the correct dimensions available, as well.  Most of the books that I used required standard 8 1/2 x 11 letter size paper, but a few called for 6" x 6" squares.          [...]

Paper Airplane Challenge!2016-05-18T15:06:55-06:00
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