Libraries bring science and nature to life for kids

Libraries across the mountains are in summer mode with a robust lineup of educational programs for kids. Special guests will offer several free programs on science and nature topics, as well as their regular line-up of story times and other activities. Here are a few of the upcoming programs on tap through June. Watch the “Kids and Families” section of the calendar for more programs throughout the summer.

Jackson County library

• “Fur, Feathers, and Scales” with the Balsam Mountain Trust will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 19. Space limited. 

• A program on carnivorous plants will be held June 25 with Jane Fitzgerald of the Jackson County Soil and Water Agency. Children through age 11 are invited to an 11 a.m. program, and teens 12-18 are invited to a 3 p.m. program.

• The State Natural History Museum’s Dinosaur Exhibit will come to the Jackson County Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26. Museum scientists will discuss the science of paleontology and display specimens, fossils and dinosaur models. Free, but space is limited, with tickets being distributed starting at 5:30 p.m.

Swain County library

• Children in third through fifth grade will get a chance to make dinosaur eggs at 11 a.m. Monday, June 23. They’ll then use a magic solution to dissolve them.

• The most popular program of the year will return with the “Birds of Prey” show presented by Balsam Mountain Trust at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 24. Michael Skinner will give a hands-on discussion of the birds’ biology and habitat, and he’ll bring a few to visit. 

• The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science will take children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade on a dinosaur discovery at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 25, with plenty of hands-on activity involved. 

• Teenagers will create duct tape dinosaur masterpieces at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 26. 

Macon County library

• A program called “No Bones About It!” geared for third through fifth graders will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 25.

• The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science will host a dinosaur discovery at 10 a.m. Friday, June 27.

Haywood County Library

• Jonathan Fain of Stones and Bones will present an interactive program exploring how volcanoes and plate tectonics created the Appalachian mountains at 11 a.m. June 18 at the Canton library and June 19 in Waynesville. Participants will have the chance to examine an extensive fossil collection and make their own discoveries. 

• The Super Summer Science Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at the Waynesville library, will give kids of all ages a chance to run experiments while enjoying entertainment from Mountain Circus Arts, as well as refreshments. 

• The Summer Science Fun Club, a group of children 9 to 16 interested in a summer of experiments and make-and-take activities, will learn physics with Western Carolina University instructor Kelley Dinkelmeyer at 1:30 p.m. June 26 at the Waynesville library. Dinkelmeyer will bring demonstrations and talk about the life of a physicist. Space is limited; register at 828.452.5169.

• The Knoxville Zoomobile will visit Haywood County on June 25 at 11 a.m. at the Waynesville library and 2 p.m. in Canton. The interactive program will include time to touch animals and artifacts.

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