STEAMing into Ringwood Public Library


Science. Technology. Engineering. Arts. Mathematics.

Find more about these resources by clicking on them:

Ringwood Library's STEAM Newsletters
Science-to-go Kits for check-out
A curated list of educational resources online

Apps and websites for learning how to code
Ringwood Library's Simple STEM series on YouTube
           Simple STEM Video Resources
Recommended ebooks for DIY Science Projects


Email caldwell@ringwoodlibrary.org with comments, questions, or suggestions for our STEAM page.
 

New Jersey Makers Day Virtual STEM Showcase

STEM Videos from libraries all around New Jersey

Watch How to Make Clouds in a Jar by Ms. Mary from the Gloucester County Library System: 

See the whole playlist of vidoes here.
See Ringwood's SIMPLE STEM videos here.

Mortality Risk and COVID-19

Everyone's risk of being infected with or for dying from the virus that causes COVID-19 varies according to age, gender, socio-economic status, race, and underlying health factors. To calculate your own risk, take this survey here: https://www.covid19survivalcalculator.com/

Compare mortality risks of the top 15 causes of death in 2017 at https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-mortality-risk.

Click below to watch a visual representation of the growth of COVID cases between January and May as compared to other global causes of death:



What's the risk of catching COVID from a surface? Read this article: 
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/well/live/whats-the-risk-of-catching-coronavirus-from-a-surface.html 

What's the risk of not wearing a mask? See the graphic below from the article Reducing Transmission of SARS-CoV-2, from the 26 June 2020 issue of the journal
Science.
Click on the graphic to link to the article.

Misinformation & Fact-Checking

Misinformation and Outdated Information

Science is an ever changing body of knowledge. Nothing demonstrates this idea more than the current pandemic. New research is being conducted at unprecedented speed and our knowledge is constantly being revised. New information and recommendations get reported to the public, but what happens with the old information? With the internet, we have continued access to older publications and postings. These outdated stories can lead to confusion about the truth. When conducting your own search for information, be sure to look at publication dates and make a conscientious effort to look for the latest information. 
Read an example of how journalists are trying to rectify this issue here: 
https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/coronavirus-face-masks-coverage/

Also consider that, as research is being conducted at unprecedented speeds, we are not allowing for our usual scientific rigor. When reading news stories, look for clues that what is being reported has been fully scientifically vetted. If a story mentions that data have come from a small unpublished study, then take it with a grain of salt, knowing that it may be refuted after more lengthy studies have been conducted. Anecdotal stories are even less reliable and should not be considered scientific. Scientists typically trust information that has resulted from multiple studies with large sample sizes and that have been published in peer-reviewed journals. 

Algal Blooms

In our September 2019 STEAM Newsletter, we reported on the algal blooms affecting local area lakes and bodies of water around the country. It had recently been reported by University of Hawaii that a new algae has suddenly appeared and spread over coral reefs, endangering them and the life that depends on them. Although the algae behaves like an invasive species, it isn't a previously known species.
Check out more about the Hawaiian algae issue using our National Library of Medicine: National Center for Biotechnology Information database, which has links to news articles, as well as scientific journal articles.
In local areas, it is emerging that orthophosphates added to the water supply to prevent leaching of lead from pipes may be contributing to the algal blooms we are seeing in bodies of fresh water.
For more on the environmental impact of orthophosphates, read about the phosphate nutrient cycle (https://www.water-research.net/index.php/phosphate-in-water ,) what cause algal blooms (https://cees.iupui.edu/research/algal-toxicology/bloomfactors,) what a harmful algal bloom is (https://www.noaa.gov/what-is-harmful-algal-bloom,) and how phosphates are contributing to algal blooms (https://www.aquaticsintl.com/facilities/maintenance/algal-blooms-blamed-on-high-phosphate-in-so-calif_o.)


Florida's Red Tide
- from http://themillenniumreport.com/2018/06/floridas-red-tide-mystery-is-no-mystery-at-all/
 

The Science of Summer

Learn about the formation of sand, why you don't fly off a roller coaster, or how to bend it like Beckham. Find videos and lessons at PBS Learning Media.

Code an App Contest

Build an App Competition

The 2020 Congressional App Challenge has begun! The contest is a nationwide effort to promote engagement in computer science. It is open to middle and high school students. No previous coding experience is necessary. Teams or individuals may submit entries. For more information, go to https://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/ 

 

Rainbow Milk!

What's really happening?


What you see in your bowl of milk and food coloring when you dip dish detergent into it is much like what happens when you place the sides of two magnets next to one another. The negative charges of the detergent molecules attract to the postive charges on the water and protein molecules in the milk.  It's all about polarity: Water molecules and food coloring are polar (they have both positively and negatively charged sides) whereas fat molecules are not polar. In other words, they are neutrally charged. Soap has both polar and non-polar properties, and so it attracts to both water and fat, which is why it is so helpful when you need to clean oil or grease. When all of these charges attract or repel each other, it pushes the liquids in your bowl around! It's a physical reaction to the chemical properties of the molecules!
Now, you can try this at home, too:
Place some water, cooking oil, and food coloring in a clean jar. Close the jar and shake it up. The water and food coloring will mix because their positive and negative charges will attract and the oil will not mix beacuse it is non-polar or neutral.

 

Naturalist Scavenger Hunt

Grab a sketch book or a camera and head outdoors! If you've got a magnifying glass or binoculars, bring them too! Search for items that can be descibed in the following ways. Send us your pictures - we'd love to share them! Look for items that is or has...
  • heavy
  • light
  • hard
  • soft
  • wings
  • legs
  • pink
  • yellow 
  • white
  • green
  • red
  • orange
Use some of these Hoopla resources to identify what you've found:
Identifying Trees of the East
Identifying Animal Tracks
Butterflies Backyard Guide
Northeastern Birds Backyard Guide
Rocks


Earth Science Topics

Find all sorts of weather topics including videos and simulations at SciJinks by NOAA.
Check out these particular topics:
Rainbows
Hurricanes
Lightning
Auroras


 

Did you miss Space Camp last summer?

If you didn't make it to Space Camp last summer, you can try it at home! We're providing you with a modified version of the curriculum we used for the camp. These lessons and activities are taken from a variety of online sources and require as much or as little of your academic effort as you wish to use! 
Find the curriculum here. Then, send us pictures of your own camp!



 

Imagineering

You can create a whole new world!

Ever wonder how the rides in Disney are developed? 
It takes many different creative people to make Disney's rides come alive. To create the whole worlds that these rides are based on, it requires the work of mechanical engineers, costume designers, sculptors, architects, artists, mechanics, robotic engineers and so many more!
It takes a lot of trial and error t
o get characters to move realistically and scenery to be accurate. The Engineering Design Process in is used daily at Disney!
You can learn all about how it's done and even create your own world at Disney's Imagineering-in-a-box.