Earth’s Wonders: Life After the Eclipse

Now that the celestial event of the year has passed, it’s time to shift our focus back to the wonders of our planet. Check out these hands-on activities that celebrate the marvels of nature!

Blue whale swimming by with a scuba diver next to it.

Blue Whales Activities

The blue whale, Earth’s largest inhabitant, captivates both scientists and children with its immense size and mysterious nature. Through decades of study and conservation efforts, researchers and enthusiasts are now celebrating its role as the centerpiece of a new STEM initiative by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios (Backyard Wilderness, My Garden of a Thousand Bees), and the STAR Library Network, in partnership with California Science Center, SK Films, and the new Giant Screen film BLUE WHALES: Return of the Giants.

Hands-on Activity: Can You Hear Me Now?
Did you know sound is something we can see? In this activity, patrons will explore how we can “see” sound by using a photophone, a DIY tool that converts sound into visual patterns. Make your very own photophone or read about other ways to visualize sounds! Patrons will then listen to whale calls and match what they hear to pictures of those same calls.

Hands-on Activity: Feeding Time!
Have you ever wanted to be a blue whale lunging for food? In this activity patrons will explore how food gives blue whales the energy to make migrations that are thousands of miles in length. They will collect “food” and then move their blue whale game piece through its migration path to the Gulf of California on a board game.

Hands-on Activity: Size Up!
How BIG is a blue whale, really? Engage patrons to find out! Part 1 of the activity begins with a hands-on exploration in measuring their own bodies and then applying the principles of ratios to figure out a blue whale’s length. Part 2 extends the learning to understand how scientists use drones and math to measure something so massive in the ocean.

Illustrations of the progression of a small plot of yard being reclaimed by nature.

Rewilding Activities with WILD HOPE

WILD HOPE is a new series of short films highlighting the intrepid changemakers who are working to restore and protect our planet. Check out the new Rewilding Activities developed alongside the short films that you can run in your library to be a part of protecting nature in your community!

Hands-on Activity: Help Nature Reclaim its Space: Library Facilitation Guide
Help your library create a space for nature to recover! This activity can be done in an outdoor space or indoors using planter containers. Learn about “rewilding” and work with your community to let a piece of land restore itself as an ecosystem supporting plant and animal life.

Hands-on Activity: For Patrons: A Guide to Help Nature Reclaim its Space | Una guía para ayudar a la naturaleza a recuperar su espacio
This step-by-step guide walks through how to let a plot of land “rewild” by being left alone to re-establish itself as an ecosystem supporting plant and animal life. This guide can be given directly to patrons to take home and is available in English and Spanish.

Hands-on Activity: Create a Sign for Your Rewilding Project
“Rewilding” is the process of letting land reclaim its natural space. Creating a sign for your patch of land is a great way to let others know how you are restoring nature. Libraries can create a sign for a spot on their grounds or host a program for community members to build a sign for their own patches of land at home.

Hands-on Activity: Bioblitz at the Library: Celebrating Biodiversity
Invite your community on a walk around the library’s outdoor space to record observations of the plants and animals. Turn this into a community science project by submitting the observations to the free app, iNaturalist. The data will be used to inform biologists how to best protect and restore an ecosystem.

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