Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What Does STEM Look Like in the Children's Room this Summer? Week 1

In honor of our science theme this summer, we hold Mad Science Mondays here in the children's room on Mondays from 2-5pm.  This is very similar to our Makerspace Mondays held last summer with an additional preschool "science" lab, where our program room is transformed into a separate science lab for the younger set to explore with their parents. This is a drop in program that we provide with the emphasis that we will provide the materials but the parents/family members must work together to complete the weekly science projects with little supervision from the librarians on the desk.

Our first week's focus was on building. In the main room for Gr. K and up we hosted building challenges.

Challenge #1: Building the tallest structure you could out of paper and solo cups.  We bought this great tape that sticks to the wall with inch measurements on it so kids could record how high their structure was but we had no idea one would almost touch the ceiling. What a cheap science craft!

Challenge #2: Build a Bridge that spans 6-8 inches in length and can hold weight using just a deck of cards. Our handy measurement tape came in hand again for this one. I thought this one may be a bit tricky to start so I added an lift the flap hint piece of paper in front of it.

Challenge #3: Master KEVA planks.
KEVA planks were used many times last year in our programming and we always have a box out for anytime use. They continue to be a fan favorite and at only $50 a worthwhile purchase. We left instruction booklets out and the families got right to work troubleshooting their structures.

For our preschool science lab, we had many building block projects of different age levels/ fine motor proficiency. This one was by far one of the easiest ones to set up with most of the materials we already had on hand.  In future preschool story time programs, I hope to do this with The Three Little Pigs as I saw in this awesome ALSC blog post.
Stay tuned for next week where we explore Rube Goldberg!

Magnetic Blocks

Foam Blocks

Melissa & Doug Puzzles

Cardboard Blocks

Bristle Blocks

Duplo Table

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