by Teena Nelson, Driftwood Public Library
Over the past year, ‘Ms.Teena’ at Driftwood Public Library, in Lincoln City, has been changing up story time on Tuesday evenings to incorporate science in almost every Tuesday event.
Tuesday night 6:30pm storytimes began as Pajama Times. Kids could wear their pj’s and hear stories in the evening. This though, only drew a small crowd of young children and their parents.
After hearing a talk from librarians working in a Portland area library, Teena became inspired to use some science ideas in the story times in the evenings.
“ I wanted to draw more school aged children to attend story programs. Evenings were a good time and my attendance grew as teachers from the local grade schools got word of these science nights. Soon a homework assignment choice in second and third grade was to attend one of Ms. Teena’s science nights!”
Because of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (science, technology interpreted through engineering and the arts in the language of math) learning curriculums in the public schools, and the hands on excitement they instill, Driftwood Public Library intends to enrich children as much as possible in the ½ to 1 hour science night visit with something new and exciting each time.
Ideas with youth assisted demonstrations and experiments happen every
time. Some ideas fail, but the principles of the idea travel the room. Books loosely related to the topic of the evening are always presented first followed by the science experiment or demonstration.
“One of our simple favorite science explorations at the library used this past year at Science Night Tuesday is…
Title: “Digging up Dirt”..
By using magnifying glasses, garden dirt and the library’s big electric print enlarger/magnifier machine, we observed worm mouths, centepede legs and tiny insects enlarged x200!!..it gave many a thrill finding the tiniest bugs in garden dirt!
A “dirty” book to read before you begin? Try Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin.”
Lots of our ideas come from ScienceBob’s website (www.sciencebob.com) a great one with a little more prep? “Rapid Color Changing Chemistry” try it, it’s amazing!!
Interestingly enough the summer reading theme for 2014 happens to be Fizz, Boom, READ for kids and Spark A Reaction for teens. (yay!) This year’s theme gave the library another exciting opportunity by offering science and technology for older kids. Teen ‘Maker’ programs for this summer will include rocket building, kitchen chemistry with no cook-cooking, inventing using small motors to create “artbots”, “bristlebots” etc., puppet making, juggling and more.