Library Events Support Chemistry, Physics, Forensics & More this Summer!

Statewide Summer Learning Programs Offer Developmental Advancement

This summer, libraries across the state are offering an innovative summer reading program to young readers. Titled Fizz, Boom, Read!, the program supports the development of reading and literacy skills, while also allowing participants to explore the intersection of science and the humanities. By combining science with reading, libraries are encouraging children to explore the world of non-fiction writing- opening up endless possibilities for learning and satisfying science-based curiosity.

Families can help children to further their science-based learning this summer by engaging in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) projects at home. Of course, kids learn scientific concepts best when they are afforded the opportunity to see them for themselves – so engaging in STEM-based activities can help to solidify concepts that young readers encounter in their summer reading or are exposed to at special library programs offered as part of Fizz, Boom, Read!.

During the final weeks of libraries’ reading program, many exciting programs will be offered, and the topics introduced in each program can be explored further at home via hands-on experiments that allow children to creatively work towards learning new concepts on their own. Be sure to catch some of these exciting opportunities, and work with STEM-curious learners at home to deepen their understanding of what they’ve learned!


Visit the Hatfield Library to learn about alchemy, an ancient chemistry-based practice thought to combine the chemical properties of elements with magic in order to transform materials. Ed the Wizard will do some alchemy-inspired science projects, showing kids how materials can be changed without the presence of magic! Tuesday, July 29th from 11am-12noon. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

  • ExperimentPractice alchemy at home by cleaning pennies and then using freed copper ions to brighten up something made of iron, too. Using just household vinegar, this project will leave young scientists feeling like they’ve discovered something truly magical.

Candy Chemistry

The Forbes Library presents an exciting sugar-filled experiment combining candy and chemistry! Participants will get hands-on experience using popular candies to spark some interesting reactions. Friday, August 1st from 2-3pm. 413-587-1010. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

  • Experiment – Learn about the chromatography, the color spectrum, and dyes used in food manufacturing by testing out candy chromatography at home! Check out this video for an experiment you can do at home…

Health and Safety

The Lee Ambulance Squad will visit the Lee Library for a special meet-and-greet, where visitors will be able to explore an ambulance and learn about all of its contents. Curious kids will learn about what it’s like to be an EMT, and can get up-close-and-personal with all of the medical tools and supplies that an ambulance is stocked with. Saturday, August 2nd from 11am-12noon. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

  • Experiment – Check your heart rate! Kids will learn about the reason for having a pulse and the importance of measuring it, and they’ll love counting and practicing math skills in order to calculate their own heart rate.


The Milne Library hosts a Q&A session with physics professor Daniel Aalberts. Aalberts, who works at Williams College, will help young scientists to answer some of their trickiest physics-related questions. Thursday, August 7th at 1:30pm. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)


Learn about some of the techniques that detectives use in order to solve crimes at the Westfield Athenaeum! Forensic science allows detectives to look deep into the scene of the crime, and includes lots of close observation and scientific analysis. Participants can even get fingerprinted themselves by a Westfield police officer! Sunday, August 24th from 1-2pm. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

  • Experiment – Test out surfaces at home to see which is best for collecting fingerprints. Try to decide which surfaces a detective would want to test first for prints, and see if you can determine why some surfaces hold prints better than others.

(Photo credit: Manchester City Library)

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