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Mount Prospect library making science fun

IEEE-Chicago executive committee member John Zulaski gives the grant envelope to Mount Prospect Public Library Youth Technology librarian Brad Jones while Mount Prospect Public Library deputy director Cathy Deane looks on.


Courtesy Mount Prospect Public Library

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Published: 1/22/2010 12:01 AM

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The Mount Prospect Public Library was just awarded an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-Chicago Fund grant to help elementary school students discover how cool science can be and encourage a lifelong passion for science that might inspire kids to pursue a career in engineering.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology and the award will allow the library to purchase a circulating collection of "Science-to-Go" kits for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The kits' main themes will cover a variety of basic engineering topics, including electricity, renewable energy, structures, and straw rockets.

"The goal is to make the science experience more hands on and fun for kids," noted Keary Bramwell, the Youth Collection specialist librarian, who spearheaded the proposal. "These kits are a great way to connect the information available in books and DVDs with the actual equipment to see science in action - creating the aha' moment."

The kits will include all the elements necessary to conduct simple experiments and are designed to be used by teachers, home-schoolers, scout leaders and other caregivers who will help guide student groups through the materials and scientific information. The library also plans to incorporate the kits into its youth programming. To complement the learning experience, the library will develop a collection of print and audiovisual materials to support the experiments. The library provides a perfect avenue for sharing equipment among multiple users. The kits will support the application of science and engineering into everyday life. As Bramwell put it, "They will make science accessible." The kits will be available this summer to MPPL cardholders.

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