Cosmic Coin Orbiter at the Library

Photo | Submitted Urbana children enjoy playing with the Cosmic Coin Orbiter, which educates kids on the solar system and raises funds for the Urbana Regional Library.

Photo | Submitted
Urbana children enjoy playing with the Cosmic Coin Orbiter, which educates kids on the solar system and raises funds for the Urbana Regional Library.


The Friends of the Urbana Regional Library (FURL) just unveiled its newest fundraiser for the Library — a Cosmic Coin Orbiter. The Orbiter serves two worthy purposes: It gives kids a fun way to learn about the solar system and it supports the library at the same time. Kids can even challenge each other by placing two coins in the orbiter to see which coin denomination wins the race to the center.

The Friends were looking for a way to raise funds that would also be a fun addition to the library, and Robyn Monaco suggested that these spiral coin wishing wells allow kids to explore science concepts while having fun. All it takes is a coin of any denomination.

“The funnel in the wishing well is a working model of the solar system and demonstrates Kepler’s laws of planetary motion,” Monaco said. “A coin rolling around the drum represents a planet in orbit around the sun. As the coin approaches the center hole (the sun), the gravitational pull on the coin increases and its energy of position is replaced by energy of motion — that’s why planets orbit at greater speeds as they near the sun and slow down when they move further away.” Be sure to drop by the library and try out the Orbiter for yourself — it’s mesmerizing!

The Friends are offering local businesses the opportunity to market their businesses by placing their logo on the orbiter. If you’re interested in reaching our 15,000 visitors a month and letting them know about your business, contact Friends treasurer David Spaans at spaansd@aol.com.

The Friends offer us so much support in the form of programming supplies, furnishings for the children’s and adult areas, and funding for the summer reading program. If you use the library and are interested in becoming involved in this organization, you’re invited to attend the FURL annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the small conference room on the upper level of the library. Call 301.600.7004 for more information or visit the library at www.fcpl.org.

Editor’s Note: Amy Whitney is the branch administrator for the Urbana Regional Library.

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