Happy Moon Landing Anniversary, Apollo 16!

Photograph of John W. Young on the MoonPicture it. Landing on a cold, desolate, and inhospitable surface that is at once familiar and completely alien. A handful of others have gone before you, but nothing can compare to the vast expanse that awaits you. This is what the crew of the Apollo 16 – John Young, Charles Duke, and Ken Mattingly- must have felt upon their arrival on the lunar landscape. April 21st marks the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 16 moon landing, the fifth mission to land on the moon and the first to land in the highlands.

Here are few fun facts about this mission: Continue reading

Great Websites for Kids – App Inventor and More!

Kids using touch screen computerThe 2014 Great Websites for Kids Committee recently announced the final selections for 2014! Looking for some fun and educational sites to share with your children? Try some of the links below! And be sure to check out Great Websites for Kids frequently – a different website is highlighted every week.

App Inventor
This site was designed to help beginners program mobile apps for android. The site offers tutorials with step-by-step directions, an online book and a “course-in-a-box.”

Code.org
Code.org is a site designed to support the learning and teaching of computer coding. It features Hour of Code, a special program designed to teach beginners how to code. Through well thought out tutorials people of all ages can learn Scratch, Hopscotch and Java programming languages. Continue reading

Encourage Curiosity!

butterfly nonfiction booksWe often want to build on our children’s curiosity, but do you always have the right answer when they ask, “Why?” We can often discover the answers together in books shared between parent and child. Knowledge about the world, even in very young children, is key to understanding. Pairing a story and a factual book on nature or science helps expand children’s scientific knowledge. Read aloud “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, and then explore a nonfiction book on butterflies. Since related activities can help reinforce learning, you may also want to perform a fingerplay of “Little Arabella Miller.” Here’s how.

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Every Scientist Needs a Lab Coat

It’s a summer of science at your library, so pull out your safety goggles, test tubes, skeleton models, microscopes, magnifying glasses and other scientific gear. Make lab coats using the following instructions, and create your own mad scientist names.

picture of a lab coatWhat you need:

  • white t-shirt, prewashed
  • cardboard
  • fabric markers
  • yardstick
  • pocket template, copied at whatever size you wish

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Science Books Your Kids Will Want to Read

Kids need more exposure to science. We’ve all heard the news reports. And, while some of us have fond memories of looking at boogers under our first microscopes, I know some of you groan under the remembered weight of textbooks full of big words. How can you make science fun for your children? Check out the National Science Teachers Association’s recently published list of Outstanding Science Books for K-12 Students for 2013.

How do books make the cut?  Continue reading