Children can explore in free, 7-week science investigators club
Ant farms, dinosaur bones and metamorphic rocks are just a few of the things children can encounter this summer, when the Northland Public Library offers a free, seven-week summer program called the Children's Science Investigators, or CSI, Club. Designed for children ages 5 to 8, the program will be held every Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., from July 3 through Aug. 14, at the library, located at 300 Cumberland Road in McCandless.
Through hands-on exploration and experiments, children will learn to think like scientists by asking questions; participating in investigations; analyzing the information they gather; and communicating their findings to peers, teachers and parents. Topics include animals, plants, dinosaurs, insects, fossils and rocks, said Kim Englert, a librarian assistant at Northland Public Library and coordinator of the CSI Club.
“We're really excited about this program,” said Englert, 53, of Franklin Park.
“We're engaging teachers from local school districts to help young children discover how fun and exciting science can be. It's a real community collaboration.”
Englert has planned creative ways to illustrate how things work. For example, animal camouflage will be brought to life as handfuls of colored paper clips are scattered on the floor, and the children are asked to determine which colors are the easiest to spot.
To demonstrate how rocks change under the heat and pressure from the earth, the children will be asked to use the heat from their hands to change the shape of a Starburst candy.
Children will unearth plaster dinosaur bones using a brush and a simple grid.
The process of pollination will be demonstrated using a bag of crunchy, cheesy snacks.
Laura Senneway, 24, of McCandless, is a kindergarten teacher at McIntyre Elementary School in Ross Township and is certified to teach middle school science, as well. She is one of the teachers who will be helping Englert conduct the program.
“Science has always been a passion of mine,” Senneway said. “I hope that this program will inspire children to be curious, to never be afraid to ask the question ‘Why?'”
Registration begins June 20 for residents in Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, McCandless, Marshall Township and Ross and June 27 for other Allegheny County residents. Space is limited to the first 25 registrants.
Families can get a sneak peek of what the program will be like on June 29, when parents and children can explore science together in one of the library's two Family Science Olympiads.
The first session will be from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the second will be from 1:30 to 4 p.m.
Participants will engage in eight hands-on experiments to learn more about magnetics, aerodynamics, buoyancy, sound and other topics. Each family will receive a lab booklet in which to record their findings and get scientific explanations of each topic, Englert said.
The Family Science Olympiads is free and open to families with children ages 5 to 8. Space is limited to the first 25 families who register for each session.
Registration opens Saturday for residents of Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, McCandless, Marshall and Ross and June 24 for other Allegheny Country residents.
These science programs have been made possible through a grant from the Northland Public Library Fund.
To register in person for either program, sign up at the Children's/Young Adult Services Desk on the ground floor of the library.
To register by phone for either program, call 412-366-8100, ext. 123. For more information, call Englert at that number.
To participate in either of the science programs, children also must be registered in the library's summer reading program.
Laurie Rees is freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New location in Ross enables store to continue mission of helping women
- Shaler approves $244K paving plan
- Shaler Area students shine in Integration Bee
- Pine-Richland Middle School student takes 2nd in geography bee
- Walk Like MADD event coming to Pittsburgh
- Hampton 6th-grader shines at computer fair
- Ross teen has story to tell — and a magazine cover to prove it
- North Allegheny Science Bowl teams to compete in national championship