In the Spotlight      In the News     From CoS                  
Library Partners     Websites of the Month     Save the Date

A Letter from Executive Director, Cynthia Randall

A Happy New Year to all of you!
The phrase “new year” suggests different things to different people.  These include: reflections on the past to inform the future; change; goals; opportunity; and finally, new experiences.  In thinking back on this past year, a few things came into sharp focus for CoS.  Some of the programs delivered this year like the Library Telescope Program, Silent Spring Re-visited, as examples, provided insight and proof of concept that directors and staff believe their public libraries are more than a place to get a book.  Rather they see their libraries as community centers where science and technology can be actively shared and explored. 
The New Year is also bringing many changes to the organization including the arrival of our new Director of Science Communications David (who likes to go by Dave) Carpenter.  We welcome Dave to CoS and look forward to providing more compelling ways and resources that empowers patrons to want to know more.  Another change on the immediate horizon is the launching of the new CoS website.  The new website will allow CoS to communicate more clearly the mission, goals, programs and services we offer to libraries and scientific communities.  
Our partners have expressed interest in furthering their collaboration and connections with other libraries. CoS will be working towards increasing and enhancing online access to best practices, training and collaborative tools.  The development of regional collaboratives will also be the focus this year.
The 2012 Library Partner Summit held on the University of Southern Maine campus set the stage for CoS to meet and begin to work with new library directors interested in CoS and increasing their own science literacy efforts.  Another opportunity now presenting itself are the emerging connections between CoS and various scientific communities across the state excited in sharing their latest discoveries with the public.  We look forward to announcing these new partnerships over the coming year.
CoS looks forward to embracing the New Year by drawing upon the successful efforts and experiences of this past year as well as moving forward with clarity of priorities developed in partnership with our library partners.   


Working Toward Synergy

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the network of CoS partners and friends. A Maine native, I was fortunate to grow up in a household that valued education, communication, cooperation and compassion. I have tried to carry these principals with me throughout my life and it is these principles I will endeavor to bring to CoS. 

Prior to joining CoS, I had the privilege of spending 10 years both designing and delivering a science oriented education program that functioned throughout southern Maine. While there were many elements of the position that were enjoyable, I believe what was most rewarding was the opportunity to help educators achieve their teaching objectives.  I now look forward to helping our library partners achieve their STEM literacy objectives.

My first full exposure to CoS was at the December 6th Library Partner Summit held at the University of Southern Maine. What a great way to start a new job!  The energy from the participants was infectious and the information sharing was fantastic. 
Please feel free to contact me to share information, ask questions or just connect.  I firmly believe that collaboration leads to successes that would be unattainable on our own….."Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” —Helen Keller

I am appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of CoS family and look forward to connecting with you in the next few months.

Dave Carpenter
Director of Science Communications                                                                top of page

In the Spotlight……

CREATE! Media Lab – Auburn  Public Library

The CREATE! Media Lab is the first digital media lab in a public library in Maine.  Opened in October 2012, the lab houses three new Apple desktop computers (iMac 27”).  Each computer is designated to assist users in designing digital media – from photography, to filmmaking, to creating and editing music.  The Lab is equipped with two scanners, an electronic keyboard, a guitar plug in, two microphones, a video camera, a digital camera, and a green screen.  Available software includes iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand and Audacity, Adobe Creative Suite 6 (including Photoshop and Illustrator) and Keynote (presentation software). 

“We are very excited about the opportunities this lab creates for our library customers,” says Media Lab Coordinator Donna Wallace.  “Whatever your digital interests may be, you can do it in our lab.  Although our lab and our workshops are open to all cardholders, this lab was created with our teen population in mind.  With the ever-changing technology now available, any exposure we can give them to digital technology will, we hope, give them an advantage in high school, in college and beyond.”

The Library is currently putting together a Media Festival which will be held in May.  The Festival will be open to teens, and there will be three categories to enter – photography, film making and digital audio.  Creations entered in the Festival will be exhibited on Thursday, May 23, 2013, will be judged by area professionals and prizes will be awarded.  Brochures and entry forms should be available by the end of January.

Visit the Library's website for additional information on Auburn Public Library’s CREATE! Media Lab, workshops and events.
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In the News…..


A recent article in the New York Times discusses the important role that libraries are playing in providing internet access for their patrons.   

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From CoS……..

Science Trunks from CoS

While you may be aware that Cornerstones of Science has hands-on science activities designed for children, in easy-to-use, mobile trunks, you may not be aware of the variety of trunks that are available to borrow.  CoS is pleased to offer these science trunk activities for use in our partner libraries.  These activities are designed to be exploratory activities for the presenter and audience alike.  There is no prior knowledge necessary to facilitate a trunk. Bring only your curiosity and your sense of wonder!

The following trunk themes are available: Butterflies & Bugs (2), The Human Body: Blood & Bones, Creativity, Get a Clue, Lobsters of the Sea, Mammal Tracks, Paint Science, Water and coming soon, Sense of Wonder/Signs of the Seasons  (Winter 2013)

Please contact Cynthia Randall by email or at (207) 208-8975 for more information or to reserve a trunk.
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Websites of the Month

Celebrating the oceans around us, energy education for kids and science news for teens and adults


Ocean Portal - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

From Coral reefs to underwater volcanoes to sharks and rays, this site features fantastic articles, photographs and videos on research being performed in and around our oceans. Visitors can learn about life in the ocean, ocean systems and the many ways that humans connect with the ocean.  The Ocean Portal is part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Ocean Initiative.

Energy Kids - U.S. Energy Information Administration

This multi award winning site from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is a wonderful source of energy related information and activities ranging from energy basics to energy history.  In addition to content on topics such as home energy use and energy sources, there are games, quizzes and activities for kids across the K-12 age spectrum.

Science News for Kids - Society for Science and the Public

This is a nice site for teenagers and adults to keep up with what is going on in the world of science.  Topics include Earth & Sky, Tech & Math and Atoms & Forces.  The mission of the Society for Science and the Public is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement.  This site does a wonderful job of helping fulfill that mission.

Wonderville - Science Alberta Foundation

Wonderville is an award-winning site that focuses on exploration and curiosity.  The site addresses themes such as the Environment, Engineering, Investigation and Nano Technology through games, videos, comics and activities.  This is a fun site with numerous opportunities to engage and learn.

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Library Partners…….

I Spy the Sky

Jesup Memorial Library

The Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, Maine recently launched their own telescope program for library patrons with a telescope provided by CoS.  In conjunction with a local astronomy club, the library will offer training for patrons who are interested in checking the telescope out for personal use. To learn more, you can view a video clip or read about the launch event for the I Spy the Sky telescope program.

February Vacation Programs

McArthur Library

2/19  1 p.m.  ECO-BOT Challenge   Kids will engage in an experiment  that will introduce them to robotic engineering concepts in a super  fun & accessible way! Participants will assemble their own Eco-Bot, using a toothbrush, then discover how the robot functions. Next students will design a set of control surfaces to program the Eco-Bot to perform a simulated environmental clean-up project. Last, they will measure the effectiveness of their control surfaces by recording how much of the spill is “swept up” by the Eco-Bot.

2/21  2 p.m.  Mad Science Feat with the USM Chemistry Club.

For more information, contact Sally Leahey

Save the Date...

Read, Write & Win

The deadline to submit information is March 22, 2013.  For more information please contact Cynthia Randall by email or at (207) 208-8975.

Stay tuned for more details!

Elephant Discovery Kit

Camden Public Library

The Camden Public Library now has a 2nd circulating Discovery Kit.  This one is an Elephant Discovery Kit which has been a great community connection with the newly opened Hope Elephants.

The Kit includes non-fiction books on elephants for different age levels, an Eyewitness DVD Elephant, a picture book story, an elephant figurine, a photo match game of elephant pictures, a craft ideas at home sheet with 4 elephant crafts using recycled materials at home, as well as an elephant puzzle, and elephant counting blocks.  We are very excited to be offering this kit and are working on others to come.

For questions, please contact Amy Hand via email or at (207) 236-3440.

Stories, Songs, Crafts and Science

Prince Memorial Library

Prince Memorial Library in Cumberland offers Story Time that includes Songs, Crafts and a little Science every time.  Story time runs Tuesday-Friday at 10am. 

To learn more, please contact Jennifer Gifford.


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