Making Slime & Elephant Toothpaste during Super Science Saturday

Kids learned about chemical reactions by making slime and elephant toothpaste during Super Science Saturday at Mentor Library.

Kids learned about chemical reactions by making slime and elephant toothpaste during Super Science Saturday at Mentor Library.

It’s easy to make science intimidating. After all, dihydrogen monoxide sounds terrifying until you realize it’s just another way to say water.

But it’s not difficult to make science fun too.

For example, kids can create their own chemical reactions and perform their own experiments when they make elephant toothpaste and monster slime like we did at the Mentor Library during our most recent Super Science Saturday.

Fair warning: these experiments can get messy.

Fair warning: these experiments can get messy.

Elephant toothpaste is an old classic. You can find ingredients and instructions here. In the experiment, yeast catalyzes a chemical reaction and causes hydrogen peroxide to release its oxygen.

In other words, you can make foam that comes flowing out of whatever you container you mixed your materials in. It’s a lot of fun, easy to do and your kids will laugh every time the foam bursts through the top of its bottle.

Monster slime is even easier. You combine starch, glue and food coloring to make a slimy, stretchy concoction that your kids will love playing with. (PBS Kids offers a great, easy-to-follow recipe on its website.)

Throw in some glitter glue if you really want to make your slime shine.

Throw in some glitter glue if you really want to make your slime shine.

By the way, we have more fun science coming to our Mentor Headlands Branch.

You can join Mentor Marsh Naturalist Rebecca Donaldson to learn about monarch butterflies at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29. She’ll be talking about the butterfly’s life cycle and how important our community is to its migration path.

The program is free and open to everyone. You can register for it on Mentor Library’s website.

Learn about Monarch butterflies at Mentor Library's Headlands Branch on Aug. 29.

Learn about Monarch butterflies at Mentor Library’s Headlands Branch on Aug. 29.

For more photos from our Super Science Saturday, visit Mentor Library’s Facebook page.

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Free ACT Prep Sessions Available at Mentor Library

Mentor Library is offering free ACT prep courses to teens on Saturdays, Aug. 22 and Sept. 5.

Mentor Library is offering free ACT prep courses to teens on Saturdays, Aug. 22 and Sept. 5.

Stressed out about the ACTs?

Why wouldn’t you be?

It’s one of the cruel truths of young adulthood that you spend four years volunteering, participating in student groups and working hard in class, and then a single standardized test taken on a Saturday morning can completely undermine you.

So standardized test are, in a word, stressful.

But there’s no better remedy for that stress than being well prepared.

The Mentor Public Library is offering two free ACT prep sessions this September. The first session is from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 22. It will focus on general test preparation and the reading courses. The next session is Sept. 5. Its focus will be the science and math sections of the ACT. You can register for them on our website.

These sessions provide practical experience in terms of the types of questions you’ll see on the ACT, and they also offer strategies for test prep (that, by the way, work on tests besides the ACT.)

All sessions will be led by Dr. John Foster, one of our reference librarians at Mentor Public Library. Foster has a doctorate in history from the University of Washington and has taught at both the high school and college level.

And, yes, all of our sessions are free and open to anyone preparing for the ACT.

If you have any questions on our ACT prep sessions, you can call the library at (440) 255-8811 ext. 216.

Students prepare for the ACTs at Mentor Library.

Students prepare for the ACTs at Mentor Library.

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Teens can face off in Hunger Games Water War this Saturday

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Water grenades, sponge bombs, squirt guns of varied capacity and velocity—the artillery is ready. Are you?

Teens can face off in a Hunger Games Water War this Saturday, Aug. 15, at Mentor Library’s Read House.

We’ll supply the weaponry. You can also bring their own gear to add to the group stockpile. However, you’ll be getting your weapons cornucopia-style, so any artillery you bring could fall into the hands of an opponent.

The water war begins at 3 p.m. However, teens that show up at early to set up will be handsomely rewarded.

Reserve your space or be weaponless. Competitors may sign up for the water war on our website by calling Mentor Library at 440-255-8811 ext. 216.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Mentor Library lets loose the reptiles for Summer Reading Finale Party

Emma and Sophia pet the bearded dragon from Herps Alive, a rescue refuge for reptiles.

Emma and Sophia pet the bearded dragon from Herps Alive, a rescue refuge for reptiles.

Mentor Public Library celebrated the conclusion of one of its biggest summers ever by inviting pythons, boas, tortoises, skinks and more to a party at its Read House.

More than 300 kids and adults met, touched, learned about and even held the rescued reptiles and amphibians from Keith Gisser’s Herps Alive during the library’s Summer Reading Finale Party on Thursday, Aug. 6.

Grant dons his cape during the Summer Reading Finale Party at Mentor Library.

Grant dons his cape during the Summer Reading Finale Party at Mentor Library.

This summer, Mentor Library celebrated all kinds of heroes including the literary, local and caped varieties. The library had special story times with teachers, firefighters and nurses, as well as programs dedicated to Captain America, Captain Underpants, Pete the Cat, Junie B. Jones and more.

More children than ever before—1,485, to be exact—signed up for Mentor Library’s summer reading program. And they read or were read to for 18,416 hours. (Also, a record high for the library.) And 608 kids earned library champion signs by reading or being read to at least 15 hours this summer.

“It’s great knowing the kids in the area are reading over the summer,” said Kim Sidorick, the children’s services manager at Mentor Library. “Our goal is for kids to continue reading over the summer; and, you can see by the numbers, they are.”

Eleven kids help hold the python from Herps Alive at the Summer Reading Finale Party.

Eleven kids help hold the python from Herps Alive at the Summer Reading Finale Party.

Additionally, more than 500 teens and adults sign up for summer reading at Mentor Library, and they read more than 3,200 books.

“We want to thank everyone who participated in our summer reading program this year,” said Amanda Densmore, the reference manager at Mentor Library. “We hope you read something that stimulated your curiosity or taught you something new, and we hope that you had as much fun as we did.”

While summer reading may be finished, there are always more programs and events coming at Mentor Library. To see what’s happening next, visit the our website, www.mentorpl.org.

Sydnee becomes superhero Squidnee when she wears her mask.

Sydnee becomes superhero Squidnee when she wears her mask.

For more photos from the Summer Reading Finale party, visit Mentor Library’s Facebook page.

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American Girl Book Club meets Samantha

Gabriella decorates her paper doll during the American Girl Book Club meeting at Mentor Library.

Gabriella decorates her paper doll during the American Girl Book Club meeting at Mentor Library.

Our American Girl Book Club met Samantha on Wednesday! They also decorated paper dolls, made fans and even practiced their posture.

Remember our American Girl Book Club? The one where kids make everything from kites to rag dolls to dreamcatchers and talk about classic American Girl books?

We meet on the first Wednesday of each month to discuss a different American Girl book and make a new craft.

Abby and Sarah make paper fans.

Abby and Sarah make paper fans.

If you have a child who likes the American Girl books or dolls, then he or she can join the fun. They can even bring their dolls with them, if they like. (Of course, the dolls aren’t required.) The club is for kids from six to 12 years old.

Our next meeting is 4 p.m. on Sept. 2 in the children’s section of our Main Branch on Mentor Avenue. The girls will be meeting Rebecca.

You can register your child for the book club on our web site or by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.

Eva practices her posture the way they did back in Samantha's time.

Eva practices her posture the way they did back in Samantha’s time.

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