STEM learning in libraries

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

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

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

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

Citizen Science at the Library: Science Action Club

2018-05-04T02:28:02-06:00

Recently, I've had the opportunity to take part in a great program sponsored by the California Academy of Sciences.  It's called the Science Action Club.  There are actually three different modules, or curricula, available - Bug Safari, Bird Scouts, and Cloud Quest.  I was able to receive the training for Bug Safari close to home.  At that training I learned that the last Bird Scouts training was being held the next weekend about four hours away.  I took the day off, got up really early, and took a road trip across the state to a great interactive museum, called the Discovery [...]

Citizen Science at the Library: Science Action Club2018-05-04T02:28:02-06:00

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

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

2018-01-02T23:04:09-07:00

This is the time of the year when children in most every part of the country look forward to awakening to a fluffy white blanket of snow in which to play, to sled, to scoop into a bowl for snowcream, and most importantly, to get them out of a day at school.  In my part of the country these days, snow is fairly rare, and pretty much everything comes to a grinding halt as soon as there are a few inches on the ground. When I was a child, it seemed like there was a lot more of the icy white [...]

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!2018-01-02T23:04:09-07:00

Money Fun

2017-11-29T19:51:12-07:00

        This month there is an exhibit in the adult collection about money and managing finances.  I've decided to focus my children's programming around money, and money fun, while the exhibit is on display.  It'll be a good opportunity to educate kids about being responsible with their money in a fun way, while the adults have the opportunity to learn about the same thing, through a more mature, if less entertaining method.  I'm planning on teaching several simple money "magic" tricks, since it always seems like money disappears, practically magically, no matter how hard you try to keep up with [...]

Money Fun2017-11-29T19:51:12-07:00
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