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

Light and Color and Uncooperative Weather

2018-06-19T04:05:06-06:00

The best-laid plans often go awry...  so how to program on the fly for a large group when that happens? My Monday Mayhem program is attended by a lot of school-age kids, including those who attend two separate day care summer camps. Planning for 80 takes some work and means that it is difficult to change activities without some advance thought and materials-gathering. As such, I learned a valuable lesson last week about planning... always have a back-up if the activities rely on the sun. The theme for the program last week was Light and Color, and while I had a [...]

Light and Color and Uncooperative Weather2018-06-19T04:05:06-06:00

May the Fourth be With You: Star Wars Day at the Library

2018-05-04T05:51:06-06:00

It's Star Wars Day! I know that it's giving away my age, but I remember when the very first Star Wars movie came out.  I watched it from a swing-set in the small, fenced-in playground at the foot of the giant screen of the drive-in movie theater.  The playground was surrounded by the same heavy gray metal boxes that were hung on the car doors of theater-goers, and served as movie speakers.  That way I could enjoy the movie while my adults could enjoy it, as well, without my nervous energy distracting and annoying them.  Now there is another generation growing [...]

May the Fourth be With You: Star Wars Day at the Library2018-05-04T05:51:06-06:00

Rain, rain, and more rain. What will the worms do?

2018-04-05T02:29:08-06:00

  There's no way that anyone in my area hasn't noticed all of the rain we've had lately, but it wasn't until I was returning home from work one night to discover the steps to and my porch covered in a carpet of wriggling, desperate, earthworms seeking refuge from the water, that I realized just how much rain my community has received in the last few weeks.  I have often seen worms working their way across a sidewalk or driveway, hoping for drier earth on the other side, and I usually pick them up and give them a ride to higher [...]

Rain, rain, and more rain. What will the worms do?2018-04-05T02:29:08-06:00

What Can You do With a Block of Ice?

2018-04-05T01:09:05-06:00

      It's beginning to show signs of spring.  Trees are budding.  Insects are beginning fly and buzz about.  I see turtles sunning at the edge of the lake.  But before that -- It was cold.  Really, really cold, for my part of the world.  In a part of the country where freezes usually last a day or two, we had weeks without the temperature getting above the freezing mark.  So what kind of programming do you do when there's lots of ice outside?  Programs about ice, of course. Everyone knows that you put salt on the walkways, steps, and [...]

What Can You do With a Block of Ice?2018-04-05T01:09:05-06:00

What is an Eclipse, Anyway? Create an Eclipse to Prepare for the Eclipse

2017-08-16T19:58:30-06:00

Like most everyone in the country, I'm getting ready for the eclipse.  The local science museum, about a mile away from my branch, will be hosting a viewing on the lawn on the day of the eclipse.  But me?... I'll be driving wherever I have to go to see totality.  I have my glasses (the proper, safe ones), I have my guide books to the best places to go to get the best view, I've rented a car that's in much better condition than mine, made my grocery list of snack foods to load into the rented car (some healthy, and [...]

What is an Eclipse, Anyway? Create an Eclipse to Prepare for the Eclipse2017-08-16T19:58:30-06:00

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

Food for Bears in Outdoor Classroom

2017-05-23T22:09:10-06:00

For the second time in as many years, I had the opportunity to participate in the Outdoor Classroom Trip for a local school district. This event has happened annually at the end of the school year for 11 years, and is run by the science teacher at Kathryn Winn Primary School, which is part of the Carroll County school district. The Outdoor Classroom is owned by a local family, open to use by the schools, and is very close to Carrollton, KY, where the school is located. The day makes use of volunteers from the high school, many teachers, parents, local [...]

Food for Bears in Outdoor Classroom2017-05-23T22:09:10-06:00

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

Poly- What? Learning the language of 3D Geometry

2017-02-04T17:52:03-07:00

    Shapes, shapes, and more shapes.  Circle, triangle, square, rectangle - it all starts of easy enough.  Then it get a bit more complicated when you move from two dimensional to three dimensional - sphere, cylinder, pyramid, cube, prism.  Then, before you know it, your tongue is in a knot, and you're totally confused.  Just what does a decagonal gyroelongated bipyramid, compound of truncated icosahedron and pentakisdodecahedron, or a prolate hectohexecontadihedron look like?  It's all in the name.  The trick is understanding the language of shapes, and a little bit of Greek and Latin.  For help with the Greek and Latin, [...]

Poly- What? Learning the language of 3D Geometry2017-02-04T17:52:03-07:00
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