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The popular Bright Futures series launches

The popular Bright Futures series launches its spring 2013 season at local public libraries this month. Hands-on activities for children and their families will spark their understanding of energy, electricity and electrical engineering.

Funded by the grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation, Bright Futures is a partnership of Northern Illinois University STEM Outreach with libraries in Cortland, DeKalb, Hinckley and Sycamore.

The kick-off events will feature razzle-dazzle demonstrations of the Van deGraff generator, which makes hair stand on end and sends pie pans flying; a Jacob’s Ladder of indoor lightning; an electrified pickle; and more. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) expert Jeremy Benson and NIU students will introduce energy and electricity principles and assist participants with hands-on activities.

Bright Futures 2013 expands on a successful program at the DeKalb Public Library in 2012. The schedule for events this month are:

• 4 p.m. today at Sycamore Public Library

• 4 p.m. Thursday at Cortland Community Library

• 4 p.m. Friday at Hinckley Public Library

• 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at DeKalb Public Library

Local librarians and STEM Outreach planned the Bright Futures proposal with local librarians who requested expansion of the program to other DeKalb County libraries. The DeKalb County Foundation contributed funds to build the libraries’ collections of hands-on equipment and books as well as STEM-based programming.

For more information, call 815-753-0533 or email jjbenson@niu.edu.

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