February 18th, 2015

Exploring Science @ CCPL

girl-505813_640I’ll admit it: I love science. I will go out of my way to read books and articles about science. This wasn’t always the case, though. My love of science started in tenth grade, and it was because of Mr. Paul Adams. He took chemistry, which could have been intimidating, and made it not only accessible but also fun. In between electron dot diagrams and chemical equations, he taught me that an engaging, entertaining teacher could make or break a science class.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be in school to find a great teacher; the library has plenty! I found one in Christine McKinley, host of “History Channel’s Brad Meltzer Decoded” and author of “Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You.” She takes such concepts as the scientific method, Newton’s laws, and the ideal gas law and, combining them with stories from her life and advice for the rock stars who may read the book, makes them fun. In the first chapter, she relates how, as a junior high student, she used the scientific method to answer the question of whether it is better to be a smart kid or a cool kid.  Later in the book, her knowledge of fluid dynamics lets her explain how to escape a (hypothetical) car crash into a lake, and look good while doing so! I listened to the audiobook from Hoopla, and Tavia Gilbert’s inflection made the book even funnier. There’s a little math in the book, but don’t be scared: the explanations are clear.

If you’re looking for more math help, you might consider “Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Breaking a Nail” by Danica McKellar (of The Wonder Years and Dancing with the Stars), as well as her three additional math books. She shows real-world applications that help anybody get a handle on math concepts—not just middle schoolers—and her books are my go-to when I need a little help explaining math concepts to my daughter. When she talks about using percents and decimals to help you figure out whether you can afford to buy a magazine with 7% tax, that’s a little motivation to understand the concept!

For a little more light reading, try a magazine. Popular Science is easily accessible on your smartphone, tablet, or computer using Zinio, as well as in paper format through the library. We also have Discover, National Geographic, and Smithsonian, all available in both print and electronic format.

Besides the “Physics for Rock Stars” audiobook, which I enjoyed so much, Hoopla also has television, movies, and other audiobooks about science. There are even five seasons of Bill Nye the Science Guy! Cecil County Public Library also provides a wide range of science and technology based classes through Gale Courses.

Sometimes it’s a little easier to understand science if an actual person explains it, rather than a book or a video. Cecil County Public Library can help you there as well, as we have a wealth of science-based programs, such as our Science Café series. We also have a wide range of programs for childrenteens, and adults.

Whether you’re just starting to learn about science, are a homeschooling family or you would like to further your scientific interests, Cecil County Public Library has something for you.

What’s your favorite way to explore science?

I’ll admit it: I love science. I will go out of my way to read books and articles about science. This wasn’t always the case, though. My love of science started in tenth grade, and it was because of Mr. Paul Adams. He took chemistry, which could have been intimidating, and made it not only accessible but also fun. In between electron dot diagrams and chemical equations, he taught me that an engaging, entertaining teacher could make or break a science class.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be in school to find a great teacher; the library has plenty! I found one in Christine McKinley, host of “History Channel’s Brad Meltzer Decoded” and author of “Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You.” She takes such concepts as the scientific method, Newton’s laws, and the ideal gas law and, combining them with stories from her life and advice for the rock stars who may read the book, makes them fun. In the first chapter, she relates how, as a junior high student, she used the scientific method to answer the question of whether it is better to be a smart kid or a cool kid. Later in the book, her knowledge of fluid dynamics lets her explain how to escape a (hypothetical) car crash into a lake, and look good while doing so! I listened to the audiobook from Hoopla, and Tavia Gilbert’s inflection made the book even funnier. There’s a little math in the book, but don’t be scared: the explanations are clear.

If you’re looking for more math help, you might consider “Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Breaking a Nail” by Danica McKellar, as well as her three additional math books. She shows real-world applications that help anybody get a handle on math concepts—not just middle schoolers—and her books are my go-to when I need a little help explaining math concepts to my daughter. When she talks about using percents and decimals to help you figure out whether you can afford to buy a magazine with 7% tax, that’s a little motivation to understand the concept!

For a little more light reading, try a magazine. Popular Science http://www.rbdigital.com/cecilcountymd/service/zinio/landing?mag_id=989 is easily accessible on your smartphone, tablet, or computer using Zinio, as well as in paper format through the library. We also have Discover http://www.rbdigital.com/cecilcountymd/service/zinio/landing?mag_id=628, National Geographic http://www.rbdigital.com/cecilcountymd/service/zinio/landing?mag_id=931, and Smithsonian http://www.rbdigital.com/cecilcountymd/service/zinio/landing?mag_id=1082, all available in both print and electronic format.

Besides the “Physics for Rock Stars” audiobook, which I enjoyed so much, Hoopla also has television https://www.hoopladigital.com/browse/content?genre.id=322087923&kindName=TELEVISION&genre.name=Science, movies https://www.hoopladigital.com/browse/content?genre.id=320711305&kindName=MOVIE&genre.name=Science, and other audiobooks https://www.hoopladigital.com/browse/content?genre.id=318447857&kindName=AUDIOBOOK&genre.name=Science+%26+Technology about science. Cecil County Public Library also provides a wide range of science and technology based classes through Gale Courses.

Sometimes it’s a little easier to understand science if an actual person explains it, rather than a book or a video. Cecil County Public Library can help you there as well, as we have a wealth of science-based programs, such as our Science Café series. We also have a wide range of programs for children, http://md.evanced.info/cecil/lib/eventsxml.asp?ag=Children&et=Science+%26+Environment&lib=ALL&nd=50&feedtitle=Cecil+County+Public+Library+Events&dm=rss2&LangType=0 teens, http://md.evanced.info/cecil/lib/eventsxml.asp?ag=Teens&et=Science+%26+Environment&lib=ALL&nd=50&feedtitle=Cecil+County+Public+Library+Events&dm=rss2&LangType=0 and adults. http://md.evanced.info/cecil/lib/eventsxml.asp?ag=Adults&et=Science+%26+Environment&lib=ALL&nd=50&feedtitle=Cecil+County+Public+Library+Events&dm=rss2&LangType=0

Whether you’re just starting to learn about science, are a homeschooling family or you would like to further your scientific interests, Cecil County Public Library has something for you.

What’s your favorite way to explore science?



February 9th, 2015

Get Ready for College with CCPL

studentAre you looking for scholarships for college? Trying to prepare for the SAT or the AP test? Look no further than Cecil County Public Library!

CCPL has a myriad of resources just for students looking to apply for college or trying to find scholarships. You can come into the library and check out books on both subjects, such as:  “Peterson’s Scholarships, grants and prizes 2015” and “Get Paid to Play: Every Student Athlete’s Guide to over $1 million in College Scholarships.”

However, if you are the type of person who would rather do everything digitally, there are many online resources that you can use through the library’s website. There are online practice tests for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and GED. Just click the Test Prep and Scholarship Resources section on the “Digital Library” tab of the library’s website.

If you are not a big fan of reading, the library has videos and audiobooks to help you study. Hoopla is an audio and video streaming library service which offers numerous test prep resources. If you are studying vocabulary, you could listen to “SAT Prep: Core 100 Words” by downloading it right to your device for free – and listen on your way to school, whether you drive yourself or take the bus. If you need help with math, you could download and watch “New SAT Prep 4: Intro to the Math Section.” All of these resources are free with your CCPL library card.

Are you or your student applying to college and confused by the process to apply for financial aid? Come to the Elkton Central Library at 6:30 pm on Thursday, February 12 for a program about FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and applying for college financial aid. There will be plenty of time for questions. To register call (410) 996-5600 x481 or visit our website.


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