Science in the Library
AnnMarie Hurtado, the Youth Services Librarian for Central Library in Pasadena, CA, shares amazing lessons on her “Science in the Library” blog. Hurtado offers PowerPoint slideshows, videos, and reflections so you can start implementing exciting learning experiences in your library.
Hurtado’s Tips for Success
- Prepare: Go through a trial run with your lessons before introducing them to the learning community. Test materials and consider different options to ensure success. Hurtado learned this lesson with a homemade wind generator that could power a light bulb. Unfortunately, some of the materials did not cooperate, and the light bulbs did not light up. She changed the lesson and used a digital multimeter instead of light bulbs to demonstrate wind power. The learning outcome was the same, but the end product was different.
- Model Resilience: Share a personal story about a project that did not work out as planned. Show pictures to demonstrate how the project changed. Describe your feelings when things went wrong and explain how you persevered.
- Empty Closets: Take a look at the materials you have in your library. Consider what would work in the library. Hurtado made a coding center by emptying her closets and putting everything on the floor. She created a passport to encourage rotations. Children explored the coding apps by viewing introductory videos and working through tasks.
- Exploratorium: Visit “Science Snacks: Projects and Activities You Can Do!” from The Exploratorium to find more lessons to try in your library.
- Science Toolbox: With only a few inexpensive materials, you can facilitate compelling projects in your library. Ben Newsome, the founder of Fizzics Education, has easy lessons, videos, and explanations in his “Teacher’s Toolbox” blogpost.
- Picture Perfect Science Books: The Picture Perfect Science books, published by NSTA Press, provide engaging lessons to use with picture books. Each project includes fun activities that make collaboration easy with classroom teachers. Child-friendly self-assessments and worksheets guide students through independent explorations.
- Managing Library Centers: Read “Responsive Classroom and Library Centers” for a step-by-step guide to introduce and manage independent learning activities in your library.
- Perfect Pairings: Display A Beginners Guide to Coding by Marc Scott with coding centers. Read The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires to model resilience. Introduce wind power lessons with The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.
Do you have a favorite science resource that you use in your library? If so, please share it with us in the comment box below!
Be on the look out for “36 Workshops to Get Kids Writing” this November! AnnMarie Hurtado is writing the book for ALA Editions! Congratulations, AnnMarie!
Author: Maureen Schlosser
I am a certified school librarian who has a passion for curating and creating content for school and community programs. Most of my work is inspired by remarkable picture books that compel children to wonder about the world around them.