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New STEM Programs For You

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Sally Battle.
Contributed by Sally

What’s happening in Youth Services?

A young boy and girl grating cheese over a cutting board.

Like many of today’s young whippersnappers, for a time my kids hoped to make it big as professional YouTubers.

During that phase, their favorite activity involved planning and recording videos around their unique cooking theme “Gross to Good.”

The idea was just like it sounds, except for the “good” part.

They’d come up with ingredients that were palatable on their own but wildly unappetizing together, and invent a recipe that combined all the flavors. Then they’d try to convince themselves and the rest of the world that the result was delightful.

The idea had roots in my daughter’s first recipe, invented when she was three: apples, garlic, water, and butter.

I believe that someone could magic gustatory excellence from these ingredients, but my daughter’s insistence on a raw approach that involved the potato masher left me doubtful about the outcome under her purview.

Though pretty low-stakes, this little situation reveals one of my many struggles as a parent.

A girl and a younger boy experiment with vials of colorful liquid.

Should I let her make this and give her the freedom to potentially fail?

I don’t want to crush her spirit (and let’s be honest, I really don’t want to eat partially mashed apple-garlic slurry).

I want her to experiment, to create, to try new things, to think out-of-the-box, to come up with goofy ideas.

If something fails, I want her to feel confident enough to try again.

Guess what?

This active curiosity – this willingness to take chances and keep trying – are hallmarks of scientific thinking and doing…

…Because science is just as much about experiencing, problem-solving, and questioning as it is about thinking, calculating, analyzing, and memorizing.

Last spring, many parents and caregivers indicated that they’d like to see more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs at the library.

We invite you to take a look at our new STEM program line-up.

Our programs are full of opportunities for your child to engage, explore, build diverse background experiences, and grow confidence in their own initiative.

And on the plus side, you won’t end up with a chunky apple-garlic slurry in your kitchen.

Hope to see you at the library very soon!

A child in the foreground experiments with blocks. Another child wearing safety goggles is blurred in the background and appears to be experimenting with electricity. Text reads: Family Maker Workshop

Put your heads and hands together to construct a unique family project — and some special memories to boot. Drop-in; no registration needed.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Monday, September 11 | 6 p.m.
Thursday, September 21 | 5 p.m.

Together you’ll create a playable drum kit and other instruments from recycled materials.

Sunset Boxes

Thursday, October 5 | 5 p.m.
Together you’ll celebrate the upcoming solar eclipse by making a viewfinder-diorama that mimics the warm colors of a beautiful sunset. Plus, while supplies last, you’ll take home eclipse glasses for safe viewing on October 14.

A girl gazes excitedly at a tinker experiment. Text reads: Tinker Lab

Using your imagination, inspiration from books, plus recycled materials, create something of your very own.

Family Tinker Lab | For children ages 3 and older with an adult

Thursday, September 14 | 1:30 p.m. (Register here)
In this session, we will build miniature treehouses.

Tinker Lab | For children in grades 1-5

Thursday, September 14 | 4:15 p.m. (Register here)
Thursday, September 14 | 6:00 p.m. (Register here)

In this session, we will build miniature treehouses.

Monday, October 23 | 4:15 p.m. (Register here)

In this session, we will devise miniature football field goals or whatever spin on that idea you like! 

A child admires a small orange fish with flowing fins in its fishbowl. Text reads: Animal Investigators

Let’s hang out and admire incredible animals together! We’ll learn, share our knowledge and excitement, plus do an experiment or craft. 

For children in grades 1-5. 


Tuesday, September 19 | 4:15 p.m. (Register here)
Monday, September 25 | 6:00 p.m. (Register here)


Tuesday, October 17 | 4:15 p.m. (Register here)

An inquisitive girl experiments with a small blue robot connected to wiring. Text reads: Full STEAM Ahead: Robots

Be a tech explorer and investigate the library’s collection of small robots. Navigate challenges and experiment with how they move through the room. Then, see if you can come up with new challenges for other children in the program. 

Monday, September 25 | 2:30-4:00 p.m. (Learn more)

This is a drop-in program for children in grades 1-5. No registration necessary.

A boy holds a magnifying glass over some wildflowers. Text reads: Nature Detectives

Do you love to find treasures like pinecones and feathers? Let’s explore our amazing world with natural materials, books, and special crafts.

Best for families with children ages 3 and older.

Wednesday, September 27 | 11 a.m. (Register here)
Wednesday, September 27 | 1:30 p.m. (Register here)
Wednesday, October 25 | 11:00 a.m. (Register here)
Wednesday, October 25 | 1:30 p.m. (Register here)

A smiling girl holds a lettuce planting in her hands. Text reads: Curious Kids.

Grab your magnifying glass! We will explore and celebrate our amazing natural world with books, experiments, or crafts.

For children in grades 1-5.

Wednesday, September 27 | 4:15 p.m. (Register here)
Tuesday, October 24 | 4:15 p.m. (Register here)

Sally is the Youth Programming Librarian at Mount Prospect Public Library. She dabbled in fields such as research science and education before sticking with libraries as a career choice rather than just an excellent venue for a night out. She loves creating playful, connecting, and memorable moments for kids and families.

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All RIghts Reserved

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