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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Get STEM-y this Summer!

Text Science Information Photo chemistry beakers
I've been a Star Trek fan since I discovered the original show through reruns on Saturday mornings when I was growing up. There was something, dare I say, fascinating, about this group of friends-who-are-like-family exploring the universe and going where no one had gone before.  And, of course, I was over the moon excited when I read this year that a self-funded team led by an ER doctor actually invented a medial Star Trek device, a tricorder!  Science fiction can become science fact!

Science also includes technology, math, and engineering (STEM). All these subjects drive us to question, explore, create, and move beyond what anyone thought was possible. We're excited to encourage all ages to dream big, discover the world around them, and be curious!

microscope
Looking for authoritative and free science information online? From applied science to space, you can find science articles and biographical information from Science in Context and Science Reference Center. If you know your child's Lexile number you can limit the content searched in both databases by your child's reading level. Science Reference Center also offers lesson plans and worksheets for teachers. World Book Online is a great encyclopedia database with science information for all ages. If you are looking for biographical information on famous and fascinating scientists, be sure to have a look at Biography in Context. You can browse or search under scientists or under specific occupations such as chemist, engineer, or mathematician.

Looking for a science e-books to read? Gale Virtual Reference Library has always available e-books on subjects such as the environment, medicine, science, and technology. Safari Books Online also has a wide variety of always available e-books on computer technology, software development, information technology, engineering, math, and science. Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium (Overdrive) is good source for computer technology and science e-books to check out and read.

kids STEM event with marshmallows
Summer is the perfect time to engage your children's minds with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fun. Looking for science experiments to try at home? Science in Context, Science Reference Center, and World Book Online all have exciting science experiments to learn from. We have print science experiment books on a variety of topics as well as online science fair project resources. Looking for STEM e-books for your kids to read over the summer? We've got those too. And, of course, don't forget to visit our branches for exciting STEM programs and explore our STEM Stations that allow children to explore and discover the science of the world around us.

Go! Kit with backpack, playaway launchpad, DVD, book & folder
Another great way to explore STEM topics with your children is to check out a Go! Kit. The kits are designed to encourage the parent/caregiver and child to actively explore the world around them. Each kit contains several books, science tools, a tablet device with preloaded apps, and a list of the contents of the kit. Each kit can be borrowed for 2 weeks. We have Little Explorer Go! Kits for ages 3-6 and Young Voyager Go! Kits for ages 7-12.

You and your kids won't want to miss our exciting STEM programs that are happening this summer! Here are some highlights:
child extracting DNA from a stawberry
  • Science in the Summer: Science of Sports. Discover how science helps athletes perform at their peak. At several branches. Registration required. 
  • Energy Express. Learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency in a fun and interactive hands-on way. At several branches. Registration required. 
  • Sciencetellers-Tall Ships and Pirate Tales. Set sail on a thrilling, action packed adventure about a crew of quirky pirates marooned on a desert island. They must find a way to construct a ship before all hope is lost. Rockville Memorial July 8, 3 pm.
  • Cosmic Adventures. Explore the universe and stargaze in comfort with a traveling planetarium. Germantown July 12, 3 & 4 pm. Registration required.
  • Science Spectacular with Eric Energy. A wild and wacky scientist, will have you mesmerized by some of his greatest eye-catching experiments. Olney July 10, 2 pm.
  • Solar Eclipse events. On August 21st, there will be a solar eclipse partially observable in Maryland. Advanced programs help you prepare for the event, including safety tips. Other events practice safe eclipse viewing. At several branches. Some branches registration required.
  • Animal Homes. Meet some live animals and find out about their homes. Rockville Memorial Aug 12, 2 pm. 
  • Mad Science. Be amazed at science that spins, pops, and goes boom. At several branches. Some branches require tickets.
  • Reptiles Alive. Meet fascinating reptiles. At several branches. Some branches require tickets.
  • Under the Sea. Discover the exciting animals that live under the sea and in the Chesapeake Bay. At several branches. Some branches require tickets.
image from digital media lab, teen on railing
Interested in trying out new technology? Come to our Digital Media Labs where you can learn and create digital photography, storytelling, video production, graphic design, music videos, social media, animation, computer programming, art, and more. Digital Media Labs are designed for teens and adults.

We invite you to explore, discover, learn, and invent!  Behind great science are people and the next inventor or scientist may be you! Maybe in the future we'll be beaming to places for vacation thanks to you!

Scotty, one to beam up!

Susan

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