Tweens

STEAM Sites

STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.  Check out the sites below to explore these fascinating subjects.  There are interesting facts to discover and fun games to try out.  General grade-range recommendations are provided for each site, but you may find useful info and entertaining activities on sites outside of your grade level as well.

General STEAM sites

Career Aisle Elementary and Middle School: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math
(Elementary & Junior High) Want to get a job some day in a STEM field?  Explore career opportunities here.

Fraboom
(Elementary) Explore a virtual museum with games, shows, and live interactions. 

Girls in STEM
(Upper Elementary - Junior High) Explore this guide (primarily for middle school girls but useful to others) that includes STEM sites, books, and organizations.

Wonderopolis
(Elementary - High School) Engage your curiosity and imagination about STEM and other subjects through a variety of media.

Grades 6-9 Winter themed reading

Brian's winter by Gary Paulsen

He would have to find some way to protect himself, some weapon. The fire worked well when it was burning, but it had burned down. His hatchet and knife would have done nothing more than make the bear really angry -- something he did not like to think about -- and his bow was good only for smaller game. He had never tried to shoot anything bigger than a foolbird or rabbit with it and doubted that the bow would push the arrow deep enough to do anything but -- again -- make the bear really made.
He bundled in his bag that night, the end of the two weeks of warm weather. He kept putting wood on the fire, half afraid the bear would come back. All the while he tried to think of a solution.
But in reality, the bear was not his primary adversary. Nor was the wolf, nor any animal. Brian had become his own worst enemy because in all the business of hunting, fishing and surviving he had forgotten the primary rule: Always, "always" pay attention to what was happening. Everything in nature means something and he had missed the warnings that summer was ending, had in many ways already ended, and what was coming would be the most dangerous thing he had faced since the plane crashed.

Children's International Language Collection

The International Language Collection in the Children's Department is home to numerous books, CDs and DVDs in a variety of languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Gujarati, Japanese, Spanish, Tamil, and many more.  The collection includes fiction and nonfiction titles in single and bilingual format.  Resources also include language learning kits for those wishing to acquire a new language.  The collection is located near the picture books directly across from the early learning play area.

Frozen characters and Angry Birds encourage kids to learn coding!

Frozen on CODE.orgFrozen's Anna and Elsa lend a hand in teaching children how to code!

Join CODE.org in allowing every student the opportunity to learn about computer science and coding.
 

Angry birds is also an option for older kids or adults.

There is an initiative to complete one hour of free coding lessons in order to raise the level of somputer science fluency for kids. There is a push to teach computer science in the classroom to ensure that children are getting the best chance possible to succeed. Please visit CODE.org to sign up and try a lesson today!

Leaf through a book!

A special thank-you to all the kids that participated in our "Favorite Book, Leaf Display." Kids wrote the name of a book on a colored leaf that was displayed on the wall in the children's department. We had 344 leaves on the wall representing library kids and their favorite books! Your favorite book series represented were: Harry Potter, Magic Tree House, Geronimo Stilton, and Michigan/American Chillers.

December Tween Service Corps

Are you in the 5th, 6th, or 7th grade and looking for ways to fulfill one hour of your community service requirement for school? Join us and work as our Tween Service Corps. You can earn one hour of your community service time and also have fun helping out in the Children's Department. Our next date will be Saturday, December 20, 2014 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  Please Be Prompt!

Movie Madness: Guardians of the Galaxy

It's time again for Winter Break Movie Madness! Join us on December 29 at 2:00PM as we show Guardians of the Galaxy! This action-packed, epic space adventure expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the  entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits-Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand-with the galaxy's fate in the balance.

Suggested Reads for 8th Grade

There are so many great books out there for eight graders! Below are some particularly good ones from recent years, spanning fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, and everything in between.

Fiction

The earth, my butt, and other big, round things by Carolyn Mackler

Far far away by Tom McNeal, a sinister take on Hansel and Gretel

Akata witch by Nnedi Okorafor, essentially Harry Potter set in Nigeria

Eat, brains, love by Jeff Hart

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Dungeons & Dragons Gaming

Roll up some fun with kid-friendly Dungeons & Dragons Gaming.  This monthly program will take place the fourth Tuesday of every month, 3:30-5:00 PM beginning January 27.  All playing materials will be provided, but feel free to bring your own dice.  This program is suggested for ages 9-12.  Families are welcome.  No registration is required.

Photo Dungeons & Dragons by River Siren (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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