Pandemic Resources for Libraries

Resources for At-Home library services and programs.
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Good and Bad Job Interviews

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This Job Interview unit with three lessons uses video to illustrate both good behaviors and common mistakes in job interviews. The dialogue is designed to be comprehensible to most ELL's, and includes lots of practice. This unit is appropriate for secondary and adult education classes.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Cynthia Mathews

Ames Chair

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Short pieces of chenille stem arranged inside a box look like a random jumble of line segments—until viewed in the proper perspective. Note: This activity is detail oriented and time intensive. It’s done by threading a long length of fishing line through twenty small holes, and then attaching short pieces of chenille stem to create a suspended pattern. When you look through a viewing hole, that random-looking pattern resolves into the form of a chair. If you think being a watchmaker is something you’d hate, then you might want to rethink doing this Snack!

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Anti-Gravity Mirror

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In this demonstration, amaze learners by performing simple tricks using mirrors. These tricks take advantage of how a mirror can reflect your right side so it appears to be your left side. To make the effect more dramatic, cover the mirror with a cloth, climb onto the table, straddle the mirror, and then drop the cloth as you appear to "take off." This resource contains information about how this trick was applied during the making of the movie "Star Wars."

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: California Department of Education, National Science Foundation, NEC Foundation of America, The Exploratorium

Anti-Sound Spring

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In this simple exploration, a coiled phone cord slows the motion of a wave so you can see how a single pulse travels and what happens when two traveling wave pulses meet in the middle.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Balancing Ball

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This webpage from Exploratorium provides an activity that demonstrates the Bernoulli principle with readily available materials. In this activity a table tennis ball is levitated in a stream of air from a vacuum cleaner. The site provides an explanation of what happens, asks questions about the activity, and also describes applications to flight. This activity is part of Exploratorium's Science Snacks series.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Balancing Stick

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In this quick and simple activity, learners explore how the distribution of the mass of an object determines the position of its center of gravity, its angular momentum, and your ability to balance it. Learners discover it is easier to balance a wooden dowel on the tip of their fingers when a lump of clay is near the top of the stick. Use this activity to introduce learners to rotational inertia.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Bean-Counter Evolution

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Hunt for prey and discover the meaning of evolutionary “fitness” in this physically active group game. In this simulation game, teams of predators equipped with genetically different “mouths” (utensils) hunt for “prey” (assorted beans). Over several “generations” of play, the fittest among the predators and prey dominate the population, modeling the evolutionary process of natural selection.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Benham's Disk

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In this optics activity, learners discover that when they rotate a special black and white pattern called a Benham's Disk, it produces the illusion of colored rings. Learners experiment with the speed of rotation and direction of rotation to observe varying patterns. Use this activity to explain to learners how our eyes detect color and how different color receptors in the eye respond at different rates.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: California Department of Education, Don Rathjen, National Science Foundation, NEC Foundation of America, The Exploratorium

Bicycle-Wheel Gyro

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In this activity, a spinning bicycle wheel resists efforts to tilt it and point the axle in a new direction. Learners use the bicycle wheel like a giant gyroscope to explore angular momentum and torque. Learners can participate in the assembly of the Bicycle Wheel Gyro or use a preassembled unit to explore these concepts and go for an unexpected spin!

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Bird in a Cage

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Stare at one color—but see another. You see color when receptor cells (called cones) in your eye’s retina are stimulated by light. There are three types of cones, and each is sensitive to a particular color range. If one or more of the three types of cones adapts to a stimulus because of long exposure, it responds less strongly than it normally would.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Blind Spot

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The eye’s retina receives and reacts to incoming light and sends signals to the brain, allowing you to see. One part of the retina, however, doesn't give you visual information—this is your eye’s “blind spot.”

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Blue Sky

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This activity provides instructions for using a flashlight and aquarium (or other container of water) to explain why the sky is blue and sunsets are red. When the white light from the sun shines through the earth's atmosphere, it collides with gas molecules with the blue light scattering more than the other colors, leaving a dominant yellow-orange hue to the transmitted light. The scattered light makes the sky blue; the transmitted light makes the sunset reddish orange. The section entitled What's Going On? explains this phenomena.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Bone Stress

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In this optics activity, learners examine how polarized light can reveal stress patterns in clear plastic. Learners place a fork between two pieces of polarizing material and induce stress by squeezing the tines together. Learners will observe the colored stress pattern in the image of the plastic that is projected onto a screen using an overhead projector. Learners rotate one of the polarizing filters to explore which orientations give the most dramatic color effects. This activity can be related to bones, as bones develop stress patterns from the loads imposed upon them every day.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Magnet Circus

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Explore the properties of magnets by designing a device that can move as far as possible using only magnets to move it, and then design a machine that will stay in motion for the greatest period of time.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan