I just returned from Arizona to discover that March in NJ is definitely giving us a last blast of Old Man Winter!
Once you dig out, here are a bunch of things to do this weekend.
And while you are stuck inside, scroll down for a fascinating math problem about flying cars (true!) and some great book suggestions for STEM
and for kids on the spectrum.
If you like this post or want to share an event or comment on something you see here, drop me a line – cslevin59 (at) gmail.com
Stay warm and safe! Carol Simon Levin
Parents created a "Not In Our Town" group for a safer school environment for their children following the Parkland shooting.
By Alexis Tarrazi, Patch Staff (Image via Neha Limaye)
Bridgewater-Raritan parents and grandparents will be marching on Sunday to create a safer school environment for their children in the district.
The march will be held Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Basilone Field parking lot, 700 Garretson Road, in Bridgewater.
"We are doing this march with a different purpose," said Neha Limaye, co-chair of the Student Empowerment Committee in the Not In Our Town group. "It's not just limited to gun violence, it's about mental health, student support and security."
The Limaye and co-chair Komal Sheth are working with the police department to come up with a route. All of the community is invited to join the march and bring signs or whatever they like. Limaye asks participants to leave backpacks and big bags at home for security reasons.
The "Not In Our Town" group was started by Niki Dawson and her neighbor Adrienne Sorensen two days after the shooting. Dawson and Sorenson both have children in the school system.
"We were overwhelmed by it all and didn't know what to do or how to act," Dawson said. "When I went back to work I thought about the helplessness of it all. I realized we have to act or we will be the ones facing the same tragedy."
"Our major focus right now is to work with the school administration to help with social isolation in kids. The next potential school shooter is that kid sitting alone at lunch," Dawson said. "We need to empower kids to reach out to those kids and try to befriend them. And see if can get resources to them and make sure they don't grow up to be an angry, frustrated teen who might have access to a gun."
Join us on Sunday, March 11 from 1 to 4 pm for NJ Makers Day!
NJ MAKERS DAY!
NJ Makers Day is a celebration of maker culture across New Jersey. This all-ages event connects individuals with libraries, schools, businesses, and independent makerspaces that support making, tinkering, crafting, manufacturing, and STEM-based learning.
Join us for a fun day of science, engineering, and crafting. We'll have materials to make your own instruments, a Nerdy Derby of DIY mini-sleds, computers to explore coding, electronics and circuits, and much, much more!
CALL FOR MAKERS! Do you have a hobby, craft or technology project you'd like to share? This is your chance! Contact us to share your work at NJ Makers Day!
Families can arrive and leave at any time. Parents and/or caregivers are expected to stay with children during the museum visit. Please use discretion in bringing very young children, as the museum is NOT baby-proof (some craft items are small and could present a choking hazard). This program, IN PARTICULAR, has a lot of small items, and we STRONGLY Recommend that small children with any propensity to place things in their mouth not attend.
Location: The PeopleCare Center, 120 Finderne Avenue, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 (parking and entrance are in the rear of the building).
Cost: A $3/ per child donation is suggested for those who can afford it.
For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 908-725-4677.
Check out Somerset County Library System Maker events here:
There are many other Maker’s Day weekend events all over our area – see all the events here: http://njmakersday.org/index.php/sitelocations/
Yet another event this Sunday!
Somerville Sunday March 11th
1 Division Street 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
The Somerville Saint Patrick's Parade is now in it's lucky 27th year of continuous existence.This year, the parade celebrates Grand Marshal Finbarr Kirby!
Looking for more things to do this week? check out Bridgewater Hulafrog
THE 2018 STAGE FESTIVAL INTERACTIVE CALENDAR IS UP AND RUNNING!Visit stagesfestival.org to search 90+ performances, readings, workshops, camp samplers, and special theatre events all over New Jersey throughout the month of March. 85% of them are FREE, and the rest run from $2 to $20.
Every March, The Stages Festival offers free and discounted performances, workshops, play readings, and behind-the-scenes events for all ages. Make sure you're the first to learn about Stages Festival events by signing up for our mailing list. The Stages Festival is in its 21st year of bringing free and low-cost theatre to comunities across New Jersey.
Events are presented by professional Equity theatres; some take place at their theatres, and some take place in libraries, community centers, performing arts houses, senior centers and more.
Bring your family and your friends, to experience the quality, inspiration and richness that New Jersey's professional theatres have to offer. Find a Stages event near you.
Perfect Little Planet
Saturdays, March 10, 17 at 3 pm
A family from another star system is seeking the perfect vacation spot. Which of our planets will they choose? (for ages 6-12)
From Earth to the Universe
Saturdays, March 10, 17, 24 at 7 pm
Philosophers and scientists from the Greeks to Galileo began to unravel some of the mysteries of the Universe. Telescopes have expanded our knowledge. Fly by the planets and beyond to learn more about our place in space. The program also includes a brief tour of the current night sky in our digital planetarium. (Recommended for ages 10 to adult)
Admission: $8 per person for one show, $14 per person for two shows on the same day.
Laser Pop Rock
Saturdays, March 3, 10, 17 at 4 pm
Lasers dance across the dome while music is played. Songs include "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by The Tokens, "Campfire Song Song" by Spongebob Squarepants, and "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift. (for ages 6-12)
Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon laser concert
Saturdays, March 3 & 10, 8 pm
Enjoy songs from Pink Floyd hit album. Songs include "Time," "Eclipse," and "Money." (Recommended for ages 10-adult)
Laser Led Zeppelin
Saturdays, March 17 & 24, 8 pm
Sit back and relax, listening to "Battle of Evermore," "Stairway to Heaven," and "Houses of the Holy."
Programs for Young Visitors
Our youngest visitors can enjoy age-appropriate programs on the last Saturday of the Month. *We are closed on March 31, so shows are on March 24.
Rockin' Rocket Ride
Saturday, March 24 at 3:00 pm
Put on your space suit and blast off into outer space to visit the Moon, Sun, and planets. A lively experience for young people with music from the CD "Journey into Space" by Jane Murphy. Recommended for ages 3-8.
Saturday, March 24 at 4:00 pm
Sing along with songs by mr. RAY (Family Ride, Kalien the Alien) and Jane Murphy (Moon Rock Rock, The Planet Song) as well as fun tunes like "Purple People Eater," "Let It Go," and "ABC-123" by the Jackson Five. Some songs are illustrated with lasers while others feature video images. Recommended for ages 3-8.
Weather permitting, the 3M Observatory will be open to the public on Saturdays from 7:00 p.m. to about 10:00 p.m.
Please note, we will not open if it is too cold.
What's up in the Sky?
Mercury and Venus are low on the western horizon at sunset this month. Mercury moves closer to the Sun after mid-month, disappearing from our view, yet again. Venus continues to slowly climb higher in the evening twilight.
Before sunrise, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter are the planets to look for. Mars is moving closer to the ringed planet and farther from Jupiter.
There are two full moons this month, so the second is referred to as a "blue moon." The last blue moon was in January. The next won't be until October 2020.
The Vernal Equinox is on March 20 at 12:15 pm EDT.
Time to Spring Ahead! Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 11.
RVCC Planetarium, 118 Lamington Road, North Branch, NJ 08876
Melissa Taylor at Imagination Soup has created some wonderful booklists I am eager to share with you.
Recently, I previewed an excellent soon-to-be-published book called Differently Wired. It shared that 1 in 5 school-age kids is neurological diverse (if you include all the labels of atypical brains such as giftedness, learning disorders, autism, ADHD, anxiety, etc.). The author points out that this 20% of kids is still struggling to fit in schools for a variety of reasons, one being that their way of thinking is not always accepted or understood. It reminded me that we must be sharing books with our children that include neurodiversity. (For the neurodiverse kids to know they're not alone and for other kids to develop empathy.)
To that end, I created this list of 23 best picture and chapter books that have characters on the autism spectrum. Similarly, you might want to read: Learning Differences in Children's Books and Books About Characters Who Have Physical Disabilities.
Great Books to Encourage Kids & STEM
Do your kids love STEM topics? Check out these STEM picture books about engineering and invention -- with some standout new titles just published. Older readers will want to try one of these STEM chapter books about science, technology, engineering, and math. Who knows, maybe these books will light a fire about a particular STEM subject.
TIPS TO GET KIDS TO READ MORE
Kaye Newton spent a year trying to find ways to get her screen-loving kids to read more. She gives us four helpful tips here.
WRITING A STORY
Want picture books that show the authors journey, plotting, and finding good story ideas? Here are 20 titles to use at home, in your homeschool, or in a writing workshop. (With a printable list.)
ADDITION CARD GAME
We've found a new math and bluffing game to add to our family game night -- Check the Fridge! It got us laughing and using addition skills so it's win-win in my book. (And I imagine yours, too. Read more about it here.)
Remember the Big Life Journal? I'm so excited about their Growth Mindset 5-Day Challenge! The challenge kit is filled with 27 pages of interactive and engaging activities for kids to do with a buddy. Want to do this? GET IT HERE.
Don't miss this list of 14 growth mindset picture books to help your child learn to see mistakes as wonderful potential. (Includes a printable list.)
Try some daily fun math from Bedtimemath.org:
When you're a grown-up and can drive a car, it's exciting to zoom down the road really fast. But what if that car could fly? As crazy as that idea sounds, flying cars are almost here. The TF-X, being built by Terrafugia, will have fold-up wings that can tuck away so it just looks like a car. But those wings will also pop out to open up little helicopter rotors, which will lift the car high into the air. You can drive, then just drive right up into the sky! The inventors at Terrafugia hope to finish the first car, or "prototype," next year. It will be so exciting when we're stuck in traffic to pop out those wings and fly over everyone -- but then we're going to have a lot of traffic in the air!
Wee ones: The TF-X flying car will hold 4 people. If you're 1 of them, how many people can drive and fly with you?
Little kids: Which is faster, a car driving 62 miles an hour or a car flying 200 miles an hour? Bonus: If you could fly this car to school in just 40 seconds, how would you count up the seconds in 10s? Try it!
Big kids: If you drive your flying car for 15 minutes, then take off and soar for 13 minutes, then land again and drive 5 minutes before stopping, how long is your whole trip? Bonus: If the TF-X really can cruise at 200 miles an hour, how far will it travel in 2 1/2 hours?
Wee ones: 3 other people.
Little kids: The car flying 200 miles an hour. Bonus: 10, 20, 30, 40.
Big kids: 33 minutes. Bonus: 500 miles.
And now: did you ever wonder what a dinosaur weighs? Find out tomorrow on Bedtime Math!
© 2016-18 Bedtime Math Foundation. All rights reserved.
BEDTIME MATH and the BEDTIME MATH logo are registered trademarks of Bedtime Math Foundation and may not be used without permission. The names of other companies, products, and services are the property of their respective owners.
Hope everyone is digging out safely from the storm!
All the best,
Carol Simon Levin