Explore exciting hands-on activities created specifically for libraries.
The STAR_Net project developed hands-on activities related to its Discover Earth and Discover Tech exhibits that are now available for any library to use. (See downloads below) These activities are aligned with National Science Education standards. The module's science content was reviewed by scientists, engineers, science educators and librarians who provided input on the usability of the activities for libraries. The materials were field tested at libraries and revised according to feedback from librarians and their patrons.
There are icebreaker activities, science investigations, weather observations, crafts, and more! The activities are designed to be easy to implement, and they require readily available - and generally inexpensive - materials. Each activity module indicates which age group it's intended for: 5 to 7, 8 to 9, 10 to 13, and teens. Reading games - customized for ages 5 to 9, 10 to 13, and teens - combine book lists and reading logs with take-home adventures that support the hands-on activities. The reading games and reading lists can even be customized to suit your institutions resources and needs.
Download PowerPoints and other information from STAR_Net webinars.
- May 7 2013 Earth Science through Food, Games, and Art: Library Programming Ideas for Tweens and Teens Webinar recording - A recorded webinar about Earth science library programming ideas for tweens and teens using food, games, and art.
- May 7 2013 Earth Science Activities Webinar PDF - Slides from a webinar about Earth science library programming ideas for tweens and teens using food, games, and art.
- May 7 2013 Earth Science Activities Webinar recording - A recorded webinar about providing children with a global perspective through hands on Earth science activities.
- March 2013 Playful Building - Slides from a webinar on how to engage children and families in engineering through playful building.
- March 2013 "Engaging Children, Youth, and Families in Engineering through Playful Building" Webinar - A recording of a webinar on how to engage children and families through playful building.
- March 2013 Who Will Engineer the Future? - Webinar recording - A recorded video and slides from a webinar on how to inspire youth and adults with library programs about engineering.
- Step by step instructions for folding an origami boat. - This is one of the many boat building options available for the "Water Wedges" activity.
Discover Earth Activities
The Discover Earth activities focus on Earth science topics close to home, such as local weather and plants, animals, crops, and environmental features unique to your region. They also include a global view of our changing planet.
- Facilitator's Resources - Information specifically targeted to support the facilitator in conducting the activities and responding to questions from children or other patrons.
- A Century of Change Display - Collect local environmental photos from patrons to create your own display.
- Weather Wall - Children track weather on a chart you can display in your library.
- Icebreaker Activities - Children get to know each other through icebreaker activities that introduce important earth science topics.
- I Belong to Earth - A companion activity to library talks or events.
- Weather: The Many Faces of Mother Nature - Children work their way through stations about weather.
- Weather Stations - Children make observations about their local weather.
- Celebrate Your Region - Children learn about how the climate in their town shapes their region.
- Polar Bears or Penguins - An activity where children learn which animals and features belong in the North and South Poles.
- Polar Bears Go With the Floes - A board game demonstrating how human actions impact global change.
- Earth: Artistically Balanced - Teen activity depicting the science behinds Earth's climate as art.
Discover Tech Activities
The Discover Tech activities focus on how engineering impacts our everyday lives. Patrons of all ages can participate in activities related to building a community park in their town.
- Implementation Guide - Use this guide to facilitate patron participation in various engineering projects.
- Playful Building: Design a Park - Design a park for your community.
- Playful Building: Team Machine - Create a human machine to efficiently finish a task.
- Playful Building: Water Wedges - Build model boats and test their speed.
- Playful Building: Levers at Play - Create a model seesaw for your community park.
- Playful Building: Low-tech Water Filter for High-impact Clean - Test different materials to see which is best suited for use as a water filter.
- Playful Building: Wind Turbine Tech Challenge - Build a model turbine and test what works best for the blades.
- Playful Building: Presentation - A PowerPoint presentation on how to engage children and families in engineering through playful building.
- National Center for Interactive Learning - The home page for the National Center for Interactive Learning
- STAR_net Online Community - Online Community for the STAR_net project
- Sci Games - Physics and Astronomy based games
- Killer Asteroids - Games about asteroids and comets
- MarsQuest Online - Games and activities about the red planet
- Giant Worlds - Project site for the Giant Worlds exhibit
- Alien Earths - Project site for the Alien Earths exhibit
- Space Weather Center - Games and activities relating to space weather
- Great Balls of Fire! - Project site for the Great Balls of Fire exhibit
- Grand Challenges - This site discusses the "Grand Challenges" of engineering, and what is being done to solve them.
- Engineering games - Fun games and activities that show how engineering affects our day to day lives.
- PBS Kids - Great printable activities on Science, Engineering, the 5 senses and more!
- PBS Kids Design Squad - A kid friendly website about engineering that includes games!
- Killer Asteroids - An engaging website with games about various near Earth objects like asteroids and comets.
- SciGames - Interactive astronomy games for kids of all ages.
- NASA Space Science Education Directory - A searchable database for lesson plans covering a variety of space science topics.
- Lunar and Planetary Institute - An assortment of Solar System based educational activities for K-12 students as well as additional resources for educators.
- My College Options - Pathways to STEM careers