Archaeology Program: Dig for Ancient Treasures

Recently one of my colleagues in the Youth Services department, Marie Plug, and one of our pages from Support Services, Luz Mejia-Ramos, put together an amazing science program for kids--an archaeological dig! I'm sharing Marie's blog post about it and reprinting it with her permission. It was such a cool program, giving kids a chance to dig in sand to find "artifacts" like broken pieces of a clay pot, bones from a replica human skeleton, and a replica of a papyrus from Ancient Egypt. But without further ado, I'll let Marie tell you more...

Dig for Ancient Treasures: Archaeology
By Marie Plug

Twenty seven budding archaeologists participated in Pasadena Central Library's first archaeological dig. Fortunately for them our Library has a "resident" archaeologist on staff - Luz Mejia-Ramos. Luz works for the Support Services Department at Central Library but during her time off she travels the world to participate in archaeological digs.

Luz obtaine…

Coding with Ozobots

Have you considered doing a class with Ozobots, but weren't sure where to begin? You can do an Hour of Code activity with Ozoblockly, starting out with a Square Walk and working up to a robot dance competition. But be sure to have a backup plan in case calibration fails. Check out the Pasadena Public Library Kids Blog and our latest post on our experiences with Ozobots...and the importance of having a Plan B!!

Propeller Powered Balloon Helicopters - New and Improved Formula!

Last week kids came to Pasadena Library to learn about elastic energy and the Law of Conservation of Energy, and then build a helicopter that would rise up in the air at least briefly before coming down. We attached helium balloons to a homemade helicopter that runs on the elastic energy of a twisted-up rubber band, and since the apparatus itself is heavy enough, the whole thing generally floats gently down. (OK, some kids did have to add a weight in order to counteract the extreme lift of the helium.) Kids had a blast making their helicopters, even though it was not an easy project, and required a lot of tinkering and troubleshooting!

I did this program before at Pasadena Public Library, and shared it on my blog a few years ago. I'm sharing this year's experience because I think I learned some things that might have improved the project back then.

I first found the project in 2014 on You may have to subscribe to get access to all their projects but …

STEAM Team: Make Your Own Electric Quiz!

Last week I visited the Hastings Branch of Pasadena Public Library to present a program to their "STEAM Team," a monthly club they have for kids 9-12 years old. We did a program about electricity called "Make Your Own Electric Quiz." It was so much fun exploring the mathematical principles involved in electrical circuits, such as the inverse ratio relationship between voltage, resistance and current explored by Georg Ohm in the early 19th century. I LOVE anything to do with scientific laws, and we got deep into Ohm's law (I = V/R). Then kids wrote down math questions and answers on post-it notes, placing the post-its next to some brass paper fasteners I had prepped for them on a sheet of cardstock. On the other side, they wound a copper wire from the brass fastener for each question to the brass fastener for its correct answer. To reinforce the things we learned about Ohm's law, I deliberately used a battery source not intended for 5mm LED diodes--a 9V…

Kids' Coding Club: HTML and CSS

On Thursday, March 15, kids came to the Studio on 4th at Pasadena Central Library to learn about HTML and CSS, and build a website that would be an interactive birthday card or greeting for a friend. Most kids did birthday cards but a few had other great ideas, such as a get well card for a sick friend. I've always wanted to do a web design class like this, but eight years ago when I first learned HTML and CSS, there weren't the great teaching tools that we have out there now. I found a lot of great stuff on KhanAcademy but the thing I liked most was the WebLab at which allows you to see your webpage appear simultaneously in a side viewer. It's a great tool for teaching kids how to code! One drawback I experienced was a lack of time. I had a lot of content prepared and could easily have filled a two-hour class with it. We didn't get through much of the CSS in the hour time we had allotted. So we had a file loaded onto our library laptops to give the kids a…