The popular Bright Futures series launches its spring 2013 season at local public libraries in February.
Hands-on activities for children and their families will spark their understanding of energy, electricity and electrical engineering.
The kick-off events will feature razzle-dazzle demonstrations of the Van deGraff generator, which makes hair stand on end and sends pie pans flying; a Jacob’s Ladder of indoor lightning; an electrified pickle; and more. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) expert Jeremy Benson and NIU students will introduce energy and electricity principles and assist participants with hands-on activities.
Children will also be able to explore and experiment with new snap circuit kits that can be checked out. Print materials related to energy and electricity – and appropriate for children of all ages – can also be checked out at local libraries.
Bright Futures 2013 expands on a successful program at the DeKalb Public Library in 2012. The schedule for February:
- Monday, Feb. 11, 4 p.m. – Sycamore Public Library
- Thursday, Feb. 14, 4 p.m. – Cortland Community Library
- Friday, Feb. 15, 4 p.m. – Hinckley Public Library
- Wednesday, Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. – DeKalb Public Library
Starting in March, Bright Futures will partner with the libraries to present “squishy circuits” that conduct electricity, a tour of the NIU Engineering Building and hands-on activities, wind energy experiments, and an electric art lab.
Local librarians and STEM Outreach planned the Bright Futures proposal with local librarians who requested expansion of the program to other DeKalb County libraries. The DeKalb County Foundation contributed funds to build the libraries’ collections of hands-on equipment and books as well as STEM-based programming.
STEM Outreach increases STEM literacy and interest for K-12 students, families, and educators at events on campus, in schools, and throughout the northern Illinois region.