Discover & explore for grade schoolers: New tech ebooks, activities & more

By Middle School Services Librarian Beronica Puhr

With a new year comes new tech learning! Find new ebooks, articles, a podcast, and activities all about technology below.

Check out these titles

  • Folding Tech: Using Origami and Nature to Revolutionize Technology by Karen Latchana Kenney (grades 8-12): This book shows how the intricate details of origami are beneficial to the designs of NASA spacecrafts. You will get a chance to follow along with their origami example and see how STEM is incorporated.
  • How to Test a Friendship by Theanne Griffith (grades K-3): Part of the Magnificent Makers series, How to Test a Friendship focuses on a group of third-graders who learn to overcome obstacles by using critical thinking and problem-solving skills (while building on friendship, too!).
  • Scratch: Learn to Program the Easy Way magazine (ages 6+): Kids, teens, and adults can all learn to use Scratch! Follow along (with image tutorials) on scratch basics, animating a scratch cartoon, painting with scratch, and more!
  • Tesla’s Attic by Neal Shusterman (grades 4-8): The first book in the Accelerati trilogy, 14-year-old Nick finds an attic full of neat inventions, including ones that were made by Tesla. 
  • Wikipedia Turns 20” by Dan Morgan, First News Periodical, Issue 761 (grades 2-9): The free, online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia turned 20 years old this year! Read about it in this Special Report on “First News.” While it’s not great to rely on Wikipedia for research, data, and reports, it is a great place to start for schoolwork. Haven’t set up an account for Pressreader yet? Learn how to get access to First News on PressReader with your Oak Park card and PIN »

Listen & watch

  • Dope Labs (grades 6+): Dope Labs is a Spotify podcast hosted by best friends, and scientists, Titilayo Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley. “At Dope Labs, we believe ‘science is for errybody’ and our mission is to bring out the inner scientist in YOU.” Listen to the latest episode with the Spotify app: Lab 036: Shoot Your Shot – A COVID Update.
  • Eco Electronics (grades 5-8; 2 min, 36 seconds; GBH): Learn how old printers get taken apart and repurposed with engineer Erin Gately. You also will see prototype printers being made from corn, instead of plastic!

Join us for a virtual program!

TechGirlz Workshop: Solving Genetic Mysteries With Online Tools & Family Histories

Saturday, February 13, 12-2 pm. In this workshop students in grades 5-8 will learn about the free technologies available to examine genes and visualize a family tree!

You will learn how to use online tools to create a family tree (Progeny), search a set of medical symptoms to find the genetic cause (OMIM), and search the human genome for genetic changes that can cause medical symptoms (Human Genome Browser).

Register in Zoom now »

Beronica Puhr

About Beronica

Beronica is a Children’s Middle School Librarian and enjoys providing creative outlets for the tween community. When she’s not at work, Beronica can be found: reading, sewing, cooking, building, watching movies (especially horror), conversing in Spanish with her family, and spending time with her two rambunctious nephews!

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