Friday, January 24, 2014

Our Big Fat Winter Experiment

On January 21st The Water Library conducted a snow-science-themed story time. The experiment to accompany the stories is called 'Blubber Gloves.'

'Blubber Gloves' is an experiment designed to simulate how blubber works to protect some mammals (like seals) from freezing during the winter. It is also a great use of all that Crisco-brand shortening you have lying around....

To conduct this experiment:

'Blubber Gloves' experiment video...

Put about 2 cups of Crisco (or other vegetable shortening) into a gallon-size zipper bag.
Put your hand into a separate gallon-size zipper bag and insert your bagged hand into the bag of shortening.
Spread the shortening evenly between the two bags, avoiding the topmost portion of the bags
Fold over the lip of the inside and outside bags and then duct tape around the folded lips

Have children put their hands into a bucket/bowl of ice water without any kind of glove until it becomes uncomfortably cold
Have children then put on the Blubber Glove and see how long they can hold their hand in the ice water

Here is a photo of the experiment in action from a blog called ''

And here is another photo from ''

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fulfill New Year's Resolutions at The Water Library!

Resolve to....

Camp in the winter wilderness with Paradise Below Zero by Calvin Rutstrum!

Originally published in 1968, this book is perfect for people seeking adventure during winter break. Calvin Rutstrum's classic guide to winter-weather camping advises on the basics like mittens and footwear, but also advises on advanced techniques and equipment.

Learn to ice fish with Ice Fishing Secrets by Al Linder, Dough Stange, & Dave Genz
And/Or Fishing on Ice by Noel Vick

Both books cover ice-fishing techniques for beginning-advanced fishermen. These books have detailed information about species, locations and water patterns for freshwater angling. Helpful recommendations about equipment are also key in both books.

Appreciate children's literature with The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

The Snowy Day is a favorite winter tale loved by millions. Keats adeptly captures the wonder of childhood discoveries with his bright story and matching artwork. This book is the 1963 Caldecott winner.

Learn more about science with The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson, Ph.D.

The Story of Snow highlights real images of snow crystals and snowflakes in order to answer questions about how snow forms. A great book for snow enthusiasts and snow-hating children alike. BONUS: Instructions for catching snowflakes also included.