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Showing posts from August, 2017

STEAM Themed Crafts for Preschool Storytimes

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Right now my library is working on a STEAM grant that we got for 2018, and one of my tasks to help the team is to gather up ideas for STEAM elements to be added to our rotating storyboxes. Storyboxes are bins that get sent weekly from one library branch to another, sharing books, DVDs, CDs, flannelboard sets, song lyrics and craft ideas around a theme. Librarians and techs use the materials in the boxes to put together their storytimes for the week. For 2018, we want our storyboxes to reflect our library's STEAM emphasis. So I'm working on finding ideas that librarians and tech specialists can use when putting their bins together.

Here's what I've got so far:

Seasons, Trees: Make Four Season Trees!
https://www.education.com/activity/article/Make_Four_Season_Trees/

Sound: Paper cup string phone
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/talk-through-a-string-telephone-bring-science-home/

Nutrition: Healthy Food Hunt and Paper Plate Collage
https://www.education.com/a…

Making Penny Batteries

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On August 8th, we had a packed story room full of kids 7-12 years old who were here to learn about how electricity works, what kinds of materials conduct electricity, and how to make their own batteries. First, we viewed a slideshow that explained concepts like electric current (the movement of electrons from atom to atom) and the history behind the making of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta:

Make a penny battery from AnnMarie Ppl

Then I gave everyone an envelope with some squares of matboard (like what artists use as the backing and framing for prints and drawings), an LED diode, and five pennies, two of which I sanded for each child in advance of the class. The kids had to sand two more pennies and leave the 5th penny alone, while letting the squares of matboard soak in some kind of solution.



Why sand the pennies? Because all pennies made after 1982 are made with mostly zinc and just a little bit of copper. Sand the copper off of one side, and you now have the two me…

Solar System in Motion at Preschool Storytime

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At my last preschool storytime we did a Moon theme, because of the upcoming eclipse. I found a lot of great ideas from Johnson County Library.  One of the cutest ideas they gave me turned out to be this activity acting out the solar system and singing about it. I caught it on video:




(tune: Farmer in the Dell)

The Earth turns around, the Earth turns around,
Once a day, every day, the Earth turns around.

The moon goes round the Earth, The moon goes round the Earth,
Once a month, every month,The moon goes round the Earth.

The Earth goes round the Sun, the Earth goes round the Sun,
Once a year, every year, The Earth goes round the Sun.

The stars are all around, The stars are all around,
Here to there, and everywhere, The stars are all around

My library is working on putting together at least 20 STEAM storytime themes and I can add this one to the mix. If your library has done any storytimes that have been really STEAM-related, please share!