Merge Cubes!

2018-11-26T21:52:56-07:00

There's a lot of hubbub about AR and VR lately. Unfortunately, a lot of this technology is financially unreasonable for many educators. That is, until the Merge Cubes were invented. It was originally made from a discarded yoga mat - and kind of still seems like it. It looks like a cube of alien QR codes, and that is essentially what it is. These alien QRs can link to elaborate AR experiences themed to coordinate with its directed subject matter. Merge cubes can teach anything from human body parts, to math and geometry, to the solar system. It sometimes seems that [...]

Merge Cubes!2018-11-26T21:52:56-07:00

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

Hands-on STEM: Scale Model of Sun and Earth

2017-05-23T14:30:50-06:00

While we all know that the Sun is very big and very far away, its actual size and distance from Earth can be hard concepts to grasp. Many Solar System models that we see inaccurately display the relative size of the Sun compared to the planets, and almost all models inaccurately display the true distance between Solar System objects. This isn't due to a lack of astronomical knowledge, but rather the amount of space that an accurate model would require! For example: an accurate model with a marble-sized (one inch in diameter) Earth would call for a nine-foot wide Sun and [...]

Hands-on STEM: Scale Model of Sun and Earth2017-05-23T14:30:50-06:00

Happy World Water Day!

2017-03-23T09:55:12-06:00

In honor of World Water Day, here is a look at some water resources and program opportunities! I recently had the opportunity, through my involvement as a Project WET Facilitator, to act as a field tester for early childhood water activities. The new guide, Getting Little Feet WET, is available as a digital download beginning today. The printed guide will be available on April 26. The activities we tested were fun, hands-on, and engaging for the children. The page to order and for more information can be found here: http://store.projectwet.org/getting-little-feet-wet-book.html Project WET’s stated mission is "to reach children, parents, teachers and community [...]

Happy World Water Day!2017-03-23T09:55:12-06:00

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

Explore! Marvel Moon Free NASA Webinar

2016-03-29T18:28:10-06:00

I recently received this e-mail from Christine Shupla, with the Lunar and Planetary Institute.  I hope she doesn't mind my forwarding her announcement. I've attended some of these webinars in the past, and they are fantastic, as well as a lot of fun!  I remember one where we created the phases of the moon by taking bites out of Oreos.  At the same workshop, we created the layers of the earth with Rice Krispie Treats and other candies.  I gained pounds of knowledge... and sugar calories.  It was great!  Of course, I don't think they actually intended for the participants to [...]

Explore! Marvel Moon Free NASA Webinar2016-03-29T18:28:10-06:00

New Life for an Ancient Tool – Making and Using Abaci With Elementary Age Kids

2016-01-01T21:49:51-07:00

              What can you do with a group of kids, corrogated cardboard, a lot of beads, pipe cleaners, and some masking or decorative duct tape?  Make abaci, of course!                         With a little bit of preliminary work, this is a craft program that even pre-schoolers can master.  The tools I used in my program were: -  6" x 6" corrogated cardboard (2-3 pieces glued together with the "tunnels" running perpendicular to one another) If using 3 layers, I make sure the center layer has the vertical channels.  That [...]

New Life for an Ancient Tool – Making and Using Abaci With Elementary Age Kids2016-01-01T21:49:51-07:00
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