STEM learning in libraries

Join the Rage! DIY Fidget Spinners

2017-06-24T13:01:08-06:00

      I came across an interesting new type of toy online a few months ago - fidget spinners.  They're advertised as good for nail chewers, autistic people, children and adults with OCD, ADHD, and a variety of other conditions and issues.  I don't know about all that, but I do know they are kinda fun to play with, and now I see them everywhere, including spinning up a storm in the hands of library customers. I've also discovered that people are designing new styles, shapes, and forms of fidget spinners all the time.  Being ever on the lookout for [...]

Join the Rage! DIY Fidget Spinners2017-06-24T13:01:08-06:00

Geology Rocks!

2017-06-23T22:03:57-06:00

This week, as part of my Summer Reading Depot Days programs in the park series, we addressed geology; and it rocked! As usual we began the program with some good books, including A Rock is Lively, by Dianna Hutts Aston, and Earthshake: Poems From The Ground Up, by Lisa Westberg Peters. A Rock is Lively gave us lots of good geology vocabulary, including discussion of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock, and the rock cycle. It talked about minerals, fossils, and more. Poetry from Earthshake included such concepts as the layers found within the earth, and reiterated about fossils, minerals, and the rock cycle [...]

Geology Rocks!2017-06-23T22:03:57-06:00

Meteors, Moon Phases, and Sky Maps; Oh My!

2017-05-08T08:00:27-06:00

April was a good time for Astronomy programs, with the Lyrid Meteor Shower on Earth Day this year. We held two different programs in anticipation of the shower; one in the library, and one in a local county park. The program Meet a Meteor began with some meteor basics, including this "What's Up in April" video from NASA. https://youtu.be/r7RHlKVd87M A second video, specifically about the 2015 Lyrid meteor shower, was shared as well. Even though it is an older video, it references Earth Day and includes a good description of what a meteor shower is. The Earth Day Meteor Shower video can [...]

Meteors, Moon Phases, and Sky Maps; Oh My!2017-05-08T08:00:27-06:00

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

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse!

2017-02-20T04:45:43-07:00

What exactly is a penumbral  lunar eclipse? We recently had the good fortune to be able to explore this in a library program. In a rare event, several circumstances aligned to allow us the opportunity to talk about eclipses, view one as it happened, and help build excitement for the upcoming solar eclipse. Even though Friday evening programs are not typically well-attended, this was a program that really piqued the public's interest! 75 people of a wide range of ages attended the event to learn about the eclipse, practice some "hands-on eclipse-making," and view the eclipse through the library's telescope. We [...]

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse!2017-02-20T04:45:43-07:00

Free Online Class for Librarians!!

2017-02-04T18:13:12-07:00

Any librarians who do programming may be interested in this great opportunity.  It's a chance to learn and help a library sciences student at the same time. The class is called "Mastering Program Planning" and it is being taught by doctoral student Jennifer Brown.  It's a five week class starting February 13, so if you're interested, click on over and get registered.

Free Online Class for Librarians!!2017-02-04T18:13:12-07:00

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

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!

2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

         The Lunar and Planetary Institute has done it again!  They have developed another delicious educational experience to share with libraries and educators - Edible Rocks. Who would want to try to eat a rock?  Just about everyone, when the "rocks" are chocolate bars, "Three Musketeers" (the candy, not the book or movie), "Nestle Crunch," and chocolate covered granola bars. In this activity, children learn and use terms that geologists use when studying and describing meteorites, except they will be using the terms to describe candy bars.  They also get the opportunity to draw their observations and write descriptions of [...]

Edible Rocks??? Definitely!2016-08-27T12:59:01-06:00

What If? to Oh Cool! The Scientific Method Put to Work Launching Stomp Rockets

2016-06-08T18:55:32-06:00

      How can  kids use the scientific method to develop better, higher flying paper rockets, or, better yet, shock the administrators on the third floor?  It's easy! For the last several years, I've been doing stomp rocket programs at my library.  Whether it's during summer reading club or in the middle of the school year, it always draws quite an good crowd.  The pre-program preparation requires a fair amount of work, but it's both fun and the results make it worth the effort involved.  Each time I do the program,  I add a bit more experimentation to the kids' activities. [...]

What If? to Oh Cool! The Scientific Method Put to Work Launching Stomp Rockets2016-06-08T18:55:32-06:00

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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