Sometimes, the best laid plans go awry.
During the summer, across the nation, libraries of all sizes begin planning their summer reading activities. Many, if not all, libraries schedule STEM or STEAM programs. These are craft or activity based programs with an emphasis on: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and/or Math.
My library is no different. We try to plan STEAM programs that are both educational and fun for the kids. If it shoots, flies or floats it’s a winner. Yesterday was our first STEAM program of the summer and although it ended well, the prep had us shifting gears at the last minute.
Originally, we intended on making pom-pom poppers using cups and balloons.
But we quickly realized we didn’t give ourselves enough time to experiment with materials and techniques. The day before the program we found out that mini cups don’t shoot, Styrofoam cups crumple when you put on the balloons and plastic cups left too many sharp edges. Yikes! Given more time we would have found a way to smooth the edges or reinforce the cups, but time was not our friend so on to Plan B!
As a librarian you have to be flexible. You have to be ready to shift gears at a moments notice. So that is what we did. Taking an inventory of the supplies we had on hand and doing some very quick Pinterest searches we decided on a floating ball activity:
This was the perfect back up plan. It was quick, easy and we were able to make it our own. The kids had a blast decorating their funnels and hypothesizing what would float higher and how long they could get their items to stay in the air.
Overall, fun was had and we made it through the day!