All Things STEAM


Welcome to All Things STEAM, a resource for offering library programming in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. When it comes to developing my STEAM programming, I have turned to a number of go-to resources that for inspiration and concept knowledge support. I've gathered links to those resources, my program how-tos, and other STEAM and maker resources for your convenience. I'm not updating this page very frequently anymore, but I still use it as a repository for my STEAM programs past and present as well as my favorite resources. Bookmark this page and get programming!

My STEAM Programs
   
Preschool Science Series:


Science Club, Jr. Series:

School-Age Science Series:

STEAM Programs:

STEAM Story Time Crafts:

STEAM Videos:

All Ages:



Other STEAM Program Plans, Ideas, & Spaces

     Check out the School Library Journal STEAM Pinterest page, where I pin all sorts of STEAM programs for all ages from across the blogosphere.

     Explore the BOOMbox, Skokie Public Library's outstanding STEAM space that is flexible (i.e., changing themes) and involves hands-on learning for all ages.

     I've written about the take-home activity sheets I made for Preschool Science programs at my former job in Missouri. I've also answered some questions about the planning and implementation of Preschool Science programs.



Other Libraries & Librarians Doing STEAM

Preschool Programs:

School-Age Programs:

All Ages:


Preschool STEAM Resources


School-Age STEAM Resources


Resources for Explaining STEAM Concepts


Why STEAM?


Why Maker Activities?


Updated 9/25/2016

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38 comments:

  1. You da best, Amy. I'm going to starting a monthly Preschool Science and Math program and these are excellent resources. Thank you!

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    1. I'm glad you find them useful, Kelsey! As always, ping me if you want to talk ideas.

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  2. Hi Amy! I've been dying to do more preschool science stuff and our patrons have been wanting more activities for their preschoolers than just storytime. How long do your preschool sessions last? Do you only read the one book and leave the rest to science?
    Thanks!

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    1. Hi, Kendra! I'm glad you're interested in making preschool science available to your customers. Any help I can provide, just ask!

      My preschool science programs typically last about 45 minutes, although some families finish our experiments/activities quicker than others. I usually share one story as a read-aloud for our focus text. After the read-aloud and while we're still in our story time area, we talk about the science. Sometimes that involves retelling the story in our own words with a focus on the science, sometimes it means exploring our concept through felt pieces, etc. The result is that we have about 20 minutes of "story time" with the read-aloud and our discussion, then 25 minutes for unrushed experiment exploration.

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    2. Hi Amy ! The Matteson Public Library in Illinois has a pretty solid STEM program mixed with Art [STEAM] going for a few years now. They've worked with many science projects, robotics [arduino and Lego], and they even teach 3D printer programs - [they have a couple of them] - a cubify Cube for remote visits as well as a Makerbot for use inside the building - any chance they can be added to your list of Libraries that do STEAM ? they'd be thrilled !

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    3. Does the Matteson Public Library have a blog or other site chronicling your STEAM programming? I'm happy to link to it.

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  3. Have you had any luck finding grants that can be used to supply STEAM materials?

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  4. Have you had any luck finding STEAM-related grants?

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    1. I'm fortunate in that my library has good internal program funding, so I'm not as well-versed on STEAM grants as I could be. A few resources:
      LEGO Children's Fund (http://www.legochildrensfund.org/)
      IMLS (http://www.imls.gov/about/stem.aspx)
      Afterschool Alliance (http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/STEMfunding.cfm)
      American Honda Foundation (http://corporate.honda.com/america/philanthropy.aspx?id=ahf)

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  5. Hi,

    We love your ideas!! We also have STEM themed programs but we call it S.M.Art Kids. Check out our blog of programs here: radnorlibrarysmartkids.wordpress.com

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  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you for collecting all of these wonderful ideas and putting them in one place! These will be a HUGE help this summer during our Fizz, boom, read summer programming!

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    1. I'm glad it'll be useful to you, Amber!

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  7. Amy,
    Wow, I am planning on teaching a 4 day long class of 1st and 2nd graders for 3 hours each day and I want to use the STEAM in the class. I am planning on focusing on Fairy Tales and have just found the blog with your STEM information about The Three Pigs. I was wondering if you have created any STEAM for any other fairy tales you could share with me? Thank you! Tammy

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    1. I haven't explicitly connected other fairy tales to STEAM, but there's lots of potential there. Things that dissolve with The Gingerbread Man, speed with The Tortoise and the Hare, etc.

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  8. Do you know of any website that show public elementary school library maker stations for STEAM? We have much more limited funds (title 1 school) and little space...

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  9. Do you have a link to the STEM take-home handouts? I found it once and can't seem to find it now.....

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    1. Examples of take-home handouts are here: http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2014/05/take-home-activity-handouts-for-preschool-science-programs/

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  10. I teach a Making Maker Spaces for Librarians workshop http://www.artmuseums.com/makerspace.htm
    and will let them know about this resource.

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  11. Such great ideas! Creative and new. Love them. Looking forward to adding them to my summer camp activities this summer. Thanks!

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  12. Love all of your ideas! Creative and new! Can't wait to use them for my steam camps this summer. Thanks!

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  13. Would you mind taking a look at our blog, Science in Storytime, at https://scienceinstorytime.wordpress.com/ and sending your link(s) to our contact at science@lincolnlibraries.org? We would love to share your wonderful ideas on the blog!

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  14. Hi Amy. Love your Three Little Pigs STEAM storytime. What did you provide for the children to use to hold together the straw and the pencil houses? Also, would you mind sharing your take home sheet?

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    1. Hi, Catherine. For the Three Little Pigs Preschool Science program, I didn't provide anything to hold together the straws or the pencils; kids worked on stacking them any which way they could (which is fine, because the point is that they aren't strong building materials). And here's a link to the take-home activity sheet I used: http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Strength-Take-Home.pdf

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  15. Hi Amy. Great site! I'm glad I found it. Would you be willing to link to our preschool STEM-themed Spanish-language story and activity series, the Math And Science Story Time (MASST) series? http://ecstemlab.org/projects/projects/masst/masst_home.html

    We are currently in the New Brunswick Free Public Library in New Jersey, but we are applying to expand to others (I'm an education researcher) Thanks! Alissa

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  16. If you log into Jumbominds.com, you can learn about their ABC science books which will be published this fall. They cover Earth Science, Biology, Physics, and Chemisty. Their premise is to expose young minds to science terms through picture books.

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  17. Hi Amy, I want to thank you for this wonderful blog! I am not a librarian, but a kindergarten enrichment teacher and a professional development provider. STEAM+, as I call it, is the hottest topic among my PD sessions, and I love it because the core learning that goes on in my kindergarten enrichment class occurs through STEAM+ projects. Your blog provides so many ideas and resources, that it will be one-stop-shopping for ideas for quite some time to develop further STEAM+ projects for my classroom and for the teachers I train. Love it, Love it, Love it! Oh, and I am dead set on attempting the Angry Birds activity that went a bit crazy for you!!!! It looks like so much fun, and I love that kind of energy! You should have seen the demolition in my room the day we took down the castle that we had built while studying the classic tales!! And we have great books on construction and demolition to ensure we make that mess just right!!! Thanks again! Colleen
    P.S. - Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel is a great way to get kids back when they get a little crazed! After they have done it once or twice, I can just say, "okay, time to be a frog!" and everyone knows how to "check" themselves. :)

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    1. Colleen, your castle demolition sounds like great fun! I'm glad you're filling your classroom with all sorts of wonder and science!

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  18. Hi Amy,
    I found you through your ALA Bridge Program post. If you don't mind, I'd like to use your Prezi for an elementary age program in two weeks. If it's okay with you, would you mind sending me the link to the YouTube video? They do not allow it to be embedded.

    Love you site and I'm grateful you are sharing your resources with the rest of us. Looking forward to sharing your blog with the rest of our programming team.

    Well done,
    Mindy

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    1. I'm happy to share what I can, Mindy, but I'm not sure what presentation or video you're talking about. Can you give me some specifics?

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    2. Hi Amy,
      It is your STEAM Bridge Program, and you posted the Prezi. One of the slides shows motorcycles about to cross a bridge (Golden Gate). Does that help?
      Mindy

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    3. Since the program was several years ago, I couldn't find the exact video--but here's another of the same bridge, the Tacoma Narrows, which collapsed in 1940: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFzu6CNtqec

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  19. Hi Amy,
    I'm considering proposing the egg drop activity at the library where I work for a summer program. To introduce the science behind how to safely land an egg from a high fall, how deep do you suggest going into the science behind it? I'm thinking the activity could be for ages 5 to 13. Is that a good range? I read on your post on the ALSC blog that you talked about gravity, inertia, and resistance. I myself don't have a lot of science background, and don't want to feel intimidated about talking about something in which my expertise would only come from reading on the topic. Do you have any suggestions on lessening my fears about feeling like I wouldn't know everything on a topic? Also, I thought about pairing a fiction book with a nonfiction book to introduce the topic of egg drop science. I thought about using Egg Drop by Mini Grey, but I couldn't really find a nonfiction book that would also discuss the topic? Do you have any suggestions? I guess maybe the answer might not be found in one nonfiction book. If I were to have a 5-13 age range, although Egg Drop by Mini Grey is a picture book, do you think that book would be appropriate to introduce the topic? I'm taking STEM for libraries at SJSU with Jennifer Hopwood, and we've been discussing pairing fiction with nonfiction books, and I'm trying to tie that into the program I'd like to create.

    Thanks,
    Judy

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    1. Judy, while I certainly think it can work wonderfully to pair fiction and nonfiction for STEM programs, I've found that I can't always find a nonfiction text that does what I want it to, for the target age range--and so oftentimes I'll create a little diagram with the keywords for the science topic, or make a little slideshow to share in the program that includes images that help me to explain a concept. I feel very strongly that you DO NOT HAVE TO BE A CONTENT EXPERT when leading a STEM program. And you shouldn't feel like you have to! My process is to read up on a concept and learn the major definitions I'll be sharing. Beyond that, I have a list of resources where I can go to find more information if a child asks for more. I try to keep from getting hung up on the idea of needing to know everything in case a child asks a question I don't know the answer to. In the library, kids ask me questions I don't know the answers to every day, and we go find the answer together. I think that the same thing should happen in a STEM program. So if a kid asks me a question about gravity and I don't know the answer, I'll say, "What a great question! Let's use some library resources to find out." It's more about having an understanding of the basics (that's what you want kids to take away from the program, too), and anything deeper can be a reference investigation.

      In terms of the age range for your program, I think that's a decision best left up to you and the library where you work--you know your audience, how many people you might expect to show up for a program with a wide age range, whether kids tend to work together in these types of programs, etc. In my current library, we wouldn't offer this program to this large of an age range because there's a huge difference between the capabilities of a 5 year old and a 13 year old when it comes to ability to apply what they learn and build an apparatus for the egg. We'd offer at least two separate program so that kids can largely work alongside their peers. That said, if I were to offer this as a family program, we could easily have kids in the full 5 to 13 range; in that case, I typically like to encourage the older kids to pair or team up with younger ones--this provides the older kids with a mentoring opportunity that is empowering for them, and the younger kids get to see enthusiasm for STEM modeled in a role model figure. Talk to your library about what you think would be the most appropriate for your target audience based on past programs and program goals.

      And I LOVE Mini Grey's Egg Drop!

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  20. Hi Amy,
    Thanks for your feedback. I have some questions about the logistics of the egg drop program when you put on the program. How many attendees (I guess that would include adults) did you have? Besides yourself, how much help did you have (volunteers, library staff), and what did they help with? The library I work at is considering putting on the egg drop program on a Saturday following National Science Learning Day in July 1016, and having it as a family event (families would build contraptions together). Since an art program was already scheduled for that Saturday, the idea is to have the egg drop program and the art program going on at the same time, and having kids hop from one event to the other. From your experience having put on the egg drop program, what are some of your suggestions to make it work if the egg drop program were to be happening jointly with an art program? (i.e., different stations - one explaining the science behind it, other stations building the contraptions, etc.) I think the intention is to have it be a drop in program, where it would start at a certain time, but kids would be coming in and out.

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    1. You can certainly do the egg drop activity in stations, Judy. In that case, I would recommend having a staff member or volunteer at each station to guide families in the activity. I imagine it would be especially useful to have a staffer monitoring the supplies stash, as otherwise families could deplete your supplies more quickly than you'd like.

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  21. You are amazing!!!! I am a preschool teacher in a Head Start program, and have been scouring the internet for ideas to do some basic hands-on science with my kids and have some great books to go with it. You are so unique in you ability to come up with engaging ideas for this age range! Thank you!

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  22. I work at a Small Public Library. I do Baby Story time and Toddler Story time every week. I would like to add STEAM Art Activities for the Toddlers ages 2-3-4 but am a little confused as to what materials I am allowed to purchase through Steam Funding. I would also like any ideas for Story time Art projects for the very young group that I have. An example of a materials list would be very helpful!

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    1. Pam, the materials you purchase depend on the types of activities you want to pursue. If I were starting out with this age range, I would focus on two types of activity materials: colorful and tactile shapes that can be sorted, maybe used to build something, or just generally played with; and either a water table or a light table that can be put to lots of different uses.

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