Saturday, June 23, 2012

#ala12: Science in the Stacks!

Have you seen all the amazing photos and articles about the Discovery Center in Queens, NY? It's a library that is all science, all the time. Amazing! I agree that cultural institutions like libraries do children a service when they offer science programming and activities, and it's a personal goal to make science a fundamental part of kids' experiences at my branch. And while we're not all lucky enough to have a space like the Queens Discovery Center, that doesn't mean we can't mix science into the bunch! A few ideas from today's session:

  • Connect hands-on science stations or science activity sheets in the branch with the Dewey stacks. For example, with a butterfly activity, have a sign leading to the 595s. Similarly, have a sign by the butterfly books suggesting the activity.
  • Focus on doing science with the kids as opposed to instructing them. It's not school! Be hands-on.
  • Reinforce skills associated with science: observation, measuring, estimation, etc. For example, have kids describe or draw the development of a growing plant over the summer.
  • Get teens to help--children are excited by young people who enthusiastically share science with them.
  • Need ideas? Look to educational standards for topics and the internet for hands-on activities.
My library has an airplane science program coming up later this summer, and in the meantime I intend to think of informal ways to add science activities in the branch. What are some of your successes and/or ideas?

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