Steam Camp – Water Beads #2

Today at STEAM Camp we compared the hydration of the beads in different solutions; water, salt water, tonic water and Coke. We looked to see if our grass seed was growing – it looked like there were some tiny roots developing but it was hard to see with the green water. We will try this again with wheat seed. We worked together to sort the beads counting the different colors. The beads look really neat separated into their colors – we especially liked the different shades of blue.
Results: Large beads – water 2 inches, 2.7 oz; tonic water 1 inch, .7 oz; salt water 1/2 inch, .2 oz. Small beads (too light to weigh) – water 1 cm, tonic water 3/4 cm, salt water 1/2 cm, Coke 7/8 cm (just smaller than water).


Salt Water
Plain water
Complete stress balls – just need to tie the knots.
Grass experiment – only the seeds that are on top of the water beads are growing now.
Reading Rainbow Fish
Making a Rainbow Fish
Sorting the water beads
Sorting activity
Weighing the beads from the different solutions


STEAM Camp- Water Beads #1

Thursday was our first STEAM Camp here at the library. The kids walked over from the elementary school and then the fun began!

This month we are doing experiments and activities with water beads.

First we evaluated whether there were differences in size depending on when water was added to the beads and whether that water was hot or cold. And yes there definitely was difference in size in respect to time but there wasn’t a difference whether the water was cold or warm.

Next we put water bead in balloons and filled them with water. These will make exercise or stress balls when the water beads are hydrated. We discovered that 1/4 tsp. is way too many beads to add – 1/8 tsp. is optimal.

Then we put grass seed in the water with the water beads. Sadly, the grass was dyed so the water color was changed to green! This could make it difficult to see the roots grown. So we will redo this experiment with wheat seed.

Finally, we were free to experience the water beads on our own. They bounce really well, are a lot of fun to smash and are really neat to look at with a flashlight beam shining through! Some of the water beads are jumbo sized!

The Dropbox

It is great having a drop box for patrons to use at any hour on any day! EXCEPT….

Except … when it is used when we are open…. and we have already checked the box … IF we hear it drop, then we MAY check it again… and again…. and again…   Or a patron complains about fines because they know they returned it on time … and maybe we didn’t check the box (for the thousandth time) …

Except … when patrons include fine money with their books…and the money or envelope ends up separated from whatever item had the fine… and there is no way to tell to whose account it belongs…. or it slips into the bin never to be seen again….

Except …. when patrons have discovered that they didn’t include the dvd with the cover and drop it in the box .. sometimes using a ziplock…

Except … when kids use it as a trash bin…


Our new Christmas treetop star

Tonight I used the 3D printer to make a star for the Christmas tree.

First, I used a preprogramed star shape and placed a cone into the base. Then changed the settings to make the cone a hole so that it could be placed easily on the treetop.

The first print moved around on the base to much…..

Added some supports to widen the base.

And now our tree has a star for its top!

Getting Ready for Christmas!

Our December preschool story times have been shapes, and sizes … and of course Christmas!




For the last story time of the year and to celebrate Christmas, we had cookies (along with listening to Christmas books and a craft)!


Join us for Kansas READS to Preschoolers!


We will celebrate the importance of reading in the lives of young Kansans throughout the month of November. Kansas Reads to Preschoolers is observed the week of November 13-19, 2016.
Our Friday Story Time will follow the theme from the 2016 Book: Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson, November 19 at 10:30. (Story time may run a little longer than usual to celebrate!)

Learning 3D programs – Tinkercad

Blog post from Library as Makerspace

It’s time to move on from printing uploaded files to creating 3D objects to print. Tinkercad is the perfect site to begin. (I learned about tickercad from our NCKL Youth Consultant who pointed me to the blog: LIBRARY As MAKERSPACE!) With Halloween coming, a Jack-0-lantern sounded appropriate.

Uploaded the pumpkin

I found the program to be challenging – probably because I’m not one to go through the tutorials – just like to jump right in!  I did however refer back to the blog several times. Uploading a pumpkin 3D file was the easy part. Carving out the inside and the face was challenging! I learned how to do sizing, grouping and adding workspaces.

Creating the holes – used a sphere to carve out the inside.


Front view on Tinkercad
Side view showing the workspace that allowed adding the shapes for the face.

After using the Tinkercad program to “carve out” the pumpkin and the face. I uploaded the file to the flashprint program adding the supports and base.

Jack-o-Lantern uploaded into the 3D printer software.
Printing the raft and a few supports

And now… it’s printing.

The Jack-o-lantern is facing the back of the printer.

The mouth cut out.
Triangles for eyes


Hexagon inside for supports – probably should have made the sphere larger.
A problem is developing
Must need more supports on the inside.
Looks good from this angle
Not so great from the top

Live and Learn – another day!