Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lynda At Home Access at the DFL

We're very excited to announce that we were able to get remote Lynda access so that anyone with a Duxbury Free Library card can enjoy learning at their own pace from the comfort of their own home. What a great to beat the winter blues and get those new years resolutions started! Lynda is full of professional easy to understand video tutorials on a wide variety of topics. Learn about 3D printing, Adobe products, resume building, MS Office and more. The breadth of Lynda is amazing. I have watched a variety of photography classes and I cannot estimate that amount of money I have saved by learning from home with these free videos.  I am now proficient in Photoshop, introductory flash, and understanding exposure. What I love about Lynda is it not only teaches you a topic but it helps you with studying tips along the way.

Check it out today!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Preschool Science "Frozen" Edition


We're trying to get kids excited about learning about science and if Goldieblox has a major point it's that sometimes it's all about the marketing and packaging of the idea. Since I was going to do snow and ice during my next preschool STEM session, why not call it "Frozen" Preschool STEM and use those beloved character faces (maybe Photoshop some lab coats on them). Will more girls come?

The possibilities are endless for this so here's my 2 session plan:

Session 1: Making Snow
What happened to the weather in Frozen after Anna leaves? 
Talk about meteorologists and tools
What makes a Blizzard?
Making our own blizzards in a jar

Baby Oil


Session 2: Melting Snow
What did they do when Anna was Frozen?
(You could also base it around what would happen to Olaf during the "in summer" song?)
Talk about archeologists and tools
Stages of Water
Ice Excavations: How do you melt it and safely?

This will be based on two posts:
Save the Snow Princess
and Lego Excavation

Tupperware and frozen figures
Lego guys
blow dryer
rulers (to measure melting)
magnifying glass

Some other great ideas to try: Thank you Pinterest!

5 Minute Ice Cream

"Frozen" Erupting Snow

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lego Robotics Hooray!

Just got my Lego We-Do and Mindstorms robotics shipment thanks to a generous grant. It took me about 30 minutes from out of the box to my first finished We Do project which always boosts my self esteem as a scientist. It helped to have background familiarity with a simple coding program like Scratch or Hopscotch and Lego instructions. The curriculum suggests as young as 2nd grade and I can see that this would be right up their alley not to mention filling a gap in our programming for 2nd and 3rd graders.
I ended up purchasing the 16 person classroom set from Lego Education which includes 8 We Do sets, a site license, and curriculum binder so I can put it on as many computers as I need for a total of almost $1500 (you can buy them separately for a much cheaper price). I wanted a site license because we don't have enough laptops necessary for single licenses to run a program and I wanted the freedom of downloading them to as many computers in house as I could.

The teacher curriculum binder is worth its weight in gold. Complete with step by step instructions, different approaches (talking about animals in the wild and then making the animals) and did I mention already printed worksheets?!

The software was quick to set up, even on a Mac, and all the project instructions are visible on screen with the Lego part steps in easy digestible sections. The software includes prompts and suggestions for not only changing the physical Lego structure ie: how does the configuration of the pulley affect the time? but coding choices as well...make the motor turn right, left, wait 5 seconds, chirp. This is all drag and drop into the project area. I used the included one sheet index card of parts to decipher which ones they wanted me to use. My only concern is all these small Lego parts aren't going to stay nicely in each of these boxes for long but I do appreciate that Lego gave nice Tupperware boxes for storage.  I look forward to putting one of these kits out for use after school on one of our internet computers very soon.

Dancing Bird Lego We Do from Duxbury Free Library on Vimeo.