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STEM Outreach, DeKalb Public Library partner to offer science, electricity program to youth

February 23, 2012
STEM Outreach’s Van de Graaf generator will be on display at Monday’s Electrify Your Mind kickoff party.

STEM Outreach’s Van de Graaf generator will be on display at Monday’s Electrify Your Mind kickoff party.

Expanding  their collaboration on programs such as the SF Teen Read and the STEMfest Book Nook, NIU STEM Outreach and the DeKalb Public Library have partnered to create “Bright Futures: Electrify Your Mind @ Your Library.”

Throughout the spring, community members are invited to events at the library and NIU’s campus to learn about concepts and careers in science, electricity and engineering.

Community members and school groups in DeKalb will also be able to check out new books, DVDs and hands-on electricity kits from the library’s circulating collection. The kits include a snap circuit electrical kit, a Van de Graaf Generator wand Kit, a renewable energy experiment kit and a wind-generated power kit and will be available for check-out to students in sixth-grade and up.

The program is funded by a $2,000 grant from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Science Kits for Public Library grant program. The award was given by the IEEE-Chicago Section and is funded by the IEEE Foundation and IEEE Life Members Committee.

Additional funding and support was provided by S&C Electric Company and Elenco. DeKalb Public Library is one of just 26 libraries in the nation to receive this honor.

To celebrate the new program, DeKalb Public Library will host an Electrify Your Mind kickoff party at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb.27.

Bright Futures: Electrify Your Mind @ Your LibrarySTEM Outreach associate Jeremy Benson will present a 30-minute interactive demonstration on the wonders of electricity, including the electric pickle, a Tesla coil that makes lightening and a Jacob’s Ladder that emits sparks that seem to climb from one wire to another.

Following the electrifying demonstration, librarian Steve Roman will provide an overview of the available science kits. Snacks and refreshments will be available as well.

Families are welcome to attend this free event and begin checking out materials on science, electricity and careers in STEM fields, such as electrical engineering.

Times and locations for other Bright Futures events will be posted on the STEM Outreach and DeKalb Public Library websites.

For more information, call Roman at (815) 756-9568 ext. 280. The DeKalb Public Library is open seven days a week and is located at 309 Oak St. in DeKalb.

by Gillian King-Cargile