Category Archives: STEM

Summer Solstice

June 21st is the summer solstice! This is the longest day of the year for most places in the Northern hemisphere, and is when the sun reaches it’s highest point in the sky.

Celebrate by exploring the solar system with NASA’s Solar System Exploration game where you can learn more about the sun, stars, and planets. https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/kids/index.cfm

Photo Credit:  NASA/European Space Agency. Published: 14 September 1999

 

On This Day: May 18th

On May 18th in 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington. This eruption caused a huge avalanche, and ash from the eruption fell as far away as Minnesota.

Throughout April, scientists watched a bulge on the north side of Mount St. Helens grow larger and larger. Finally, on May 18 at 8:32 a.m., a sudden 5.1-magnitude earthquake and eruption rocked the mountain. The north side of the peak rippled and blasted out ash at 650 miles per hour. A cloud of ash, rocks, gas and glacial ice roared down the side of the mountain at 100 mph. Fourteen miles of the Toutle River were buried up to 150 feet deep in the debris. Magma, at 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, flowed for miles. (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mount-st-helens-erupts)

 

On This Day: Skylab 1

skylabOn this day, May 14th, in 1973 the unmanned Skylab 1, America’s first space station,  was launched from the Kennedy Space Center. Immediately there were problems with the launch as a meteor ripped off one of the solar panels and part of the shield. The next Skylab mission would be launched on May 25th with crew members who were trained to make the workshop safe for them to work in.

You can learn more about the Skylab missions at NASA’s website: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/history/skylab.html

Image Credit: NASA

 

How does your garden grow?

With the weather finally warming up we have started to think about gardening! Have you ever wanted to start a vegetable garden? The University of Illinois created a chart with suggested times to plant vegetable gardens:

Planting Dates for Chicago

Vegetable Plant Seeds Indoors Transplant Into Garden
Broccoli March 10 – March 25 April 15 – May 10
Cabbage March 25 – April 5 May 1 – May 25
Cauliflower March 25 – April 5 May 1 – May 25
Eggplant April 5 – April 20 May 20 – June 10
Herbs April 1 – April 15 May 1 – June 10
Lettuce March 25 – April 5 May 1 – May 25
Muskmelon April 25 – May 5 May 20 – June 15
Pepper April 5 – April 20 May 20 – June 10
Tomato April 20 – May 1 May 20 – June 15
Watermelon April 25 – May 5 May 20 – June 15

For more tips and tricks for planting a vegetable garden check out the University of Illinois’ gardening website or books available at the library!

Book Review: Secrets of a Civil War Submarine

civil war subToday we recommend: Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker.

When the Union blockade of all ports in the South stopped supplies from reaching the Confederate Army, Horace L. Hunley decided to create a submarine that would be able to sneak up on enemy ships and blow them up. After many years of trial and error, the H. L. Hunley actually succeeded in sinking the USS Housatonic in February of 1864. But the submarine never returned to port, and her crew perished in the Charleston Harbor. This book presents the history of the Civil War submarine the H.L. Hunley, including the construction, mysterious sinking, recovery, and restoration.

This book was the 2006 winner for the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal. This book hooked me right from the start, and the numerous pictures, sketches, and maps made it easy to picture the submarine. This book is perfect for those interested in the Civil War or archaelogy. It is a great nonfiction book packed with information that avoids being dry or dull. You can find it in the Juvenile Nonfiction section at j973.757 WALKER or as an audiobook in the Juvenile Audiobook section j973.757 WAL.

~aw

Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day from all of us at the Bartlett Public Library! We celebrate today as Pi day since the pidate, March 14th, is the same as the first three digits of π (3.14).

You can learn more about the mathematical concept of Pi in Why Pi? by Johnny Ball, in our juvenile nonfiction section at j530.8 BALL.

You can celebrate Pi Day with challenges from NASA scientists and engineers as part of their Pi Day Challenge! Good luck!

On This Day: March 10th

alexander-graham-bellOn this day March 10th in 1876, the very first understandable speech was transmitted over the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell spoke through the telephone and told his assistant, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.” Just three days before this, on March 7th, Bell had received a patent for his telephone system. In 1877, Bell would found the Bell Telephone Company, a company that would later be bought by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T). You can read more about Bell and his invention of the telephone by clicking on the link: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/speech-transmitted-by-telephone. You can also borrow books about Alexander Graham Bell or the telephone.

“Alexander Graham Bell” by City of Boston Archives is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Earth Science with Edna

This is our new friend, Edna.

edna

Her hobbies include reading, exploring, and watching the latest Disney movie with a big bucket of popcorn.  Her most favorite activity is learning about science and experimenting with ideas.

Edna’s latest area of interest is gardening.  She loves the smell of flowers and enjoys eating lots of different fruits and vegetables- except for Lima beans!  She would really like to have her own garden, but she’s not very good at keeping even a cactus alive!

edna-sad-cactus
Edna’s not-so-healthy cactus

Lately, she has been reading about a different way of growing plants called, hydroponics.  Hydroponics is a way of growing plants without soil.  How can this be?  Edna always thought that soil was needed to make plants grow!  Technically plants need soil for its nutrients and as support system for its roots to hang on to. SO…if you put the nutrients that the plant needs right into the water and if you have something to support the plant and its roots, the plant won’t need the soil.  It’s very scientific and Edna needs to do some more research.

Watch this fun video to learn more!