Virtual Performances: Science Tellers

Hey friends! I just finished watching Dragons: Return of the Ice Sorceress by the Science Tellers as part of the Summer Library Program. What a show! I’m so inspired to try out my own experiments at home now. There are so many great STEAM books in the library catalog and on Hoopla to help me get started.


Are you also inspired? Share your photos of your latest scientific adventures with us.

Preschool STEM: Resources

If you’re looking for some fun and interactive experiments to introduce, expand, or enhance your kids’ knowledge in the areas of STEAM (or if you’re simply looking for a fun afternoon project!), check out this great selection of STEAM activity e-books through Hoopla. Look for the “Learning with STEAM” categories. There are activity books for young children through teen to support Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. E-materials may be checked out from Hoopla with your Eau Claire library card.

Quick Links

Preschool STEM: Flashlight Assembly

Engineering is all about finding out how things are built and why. Explore the inside of a flashlight with your kids!

Flashlight Assembly: Activity & Conversation Starters

Sometimes trial and error is the best way to see what works and what doesn’t! Take time to explore the flashlight and all of its parts.

1. Take apart a flashlight and see what’s inside. How do you think this flashlight works?

2. Let’s put the flashlight back together again.

3. Explore! It is ok if the battery isn’t put in the right direction the first time. This allows the chance for problem solving!

4. Time to play! What games can you play with a flashlight? How about flashlight tag or “I Spy” in the dark? Or build a blanket fort (another engineering project!) and read a bedtime story with a flashlight in the fort.

Have fun!

Click for printable instructions (pdf)

Preschool STEM: Block Center

MATH is this week’s feature for our Preschool STEM virtual series. Children learn best through play and preschool math can be as easy as building a toy train. Try out this “math lesson” with your little ones!

Build & Measure Block Center: Activity & Conversation Starters


  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Building materials, such as Legos, Duplos, toy blocks, or even cereal boxes or empty pop cans!

1. Can you name the numerals on the rulers?

2. Build a tower with your building materials. How high is it?

3. Is a tower built with Lego Duplos or wood blocks more stable? How can you make it more sturdy?
This is engineering!

4. Build a long train by laying items end to end. Measure how long it is. How many pieces did you use?

Share a picture of your towers! Email us at or share via Facebook. 

Click here for printable instructions! (PDF)

Preschool STEM: Volcano

SCIENCE is back this week for Preschool STEM. Today’s volcano experiment is an attention grabber with kids and an excellent example of chemical reactions.

Volcanos: Activity & Conversation Starters

1. Fill a small plastic cup 2/3 full with water (we’re adding math!). Place the cup in a bowl or on a cookie tray to catch the eruption.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda.

3. Do you want your volcano to erupt with more foam? Add 1 teaspoon of dish soap.

4. Do you want colored lava? Add a small squirt of washable paint.

5. Stir.

6. Pour in vinegar and watch the reaction. What do you observe (see, hear, smell)?

7. Optional: Build a volcano with Legos or Duplos!

What’s Happening?

You’re watching a chemical reaction! When an acid (the vinegar) and a base (the baking soda) mix they form a gas called carbon dioxide.

Share a picture of your volcano experiment! Email us at or share via Facebook. 

Click here for printable instructions! (PDF)

Preschool STEM: Build a Fort

ENGINEERING is this week’s focus for Preschool STEM, with a great family fun activity: fort building!

Fort Building: Activity & Conversation Starters

Engineering is all about finding out how things are built and why. Sometimes trial and error is the best way to see what works and what doesn’t!

1. Find materials to build a fort. You could try bed sheets, blankets, furniture, a tarp, or a clothesline.

2. What did you find? Are you going to build a fort inside or outside?!

3. What could be used to secure the different parts of the fort so they stay standing? I can think of clothespins, string, chip clips, rubber bands.

4. What else? Does your fort require a secret password to enter?

Share a picture of your fort creation! Send to

Click here to download instructions (PDF).

Preschool STEM: Money Muncher

Parents, Preschool STEM is back this week with a fun math activity! Early math skills can be incorporated into many simple activities. This “Money Muncher” activity includes lots of math skills. Colors, shapes, sizes, counting, sorting, and measuring by identifying what is bigger or smaller…this is all early math! Let us know how it went, and share a pic with your “Muncher” creation. Pictures may be featured on our Kids website!

MATH Money Muncher (PDF)

Preschool STEM: Oobleck

Our popular Preschool STEM series is now online! Discover solids, liquids, and even the in-between with your kids in this science experiment. If you have cornstarch and water then you’re all set!


Oobleck: solids, liquids, and in between.

1. A liquid is something that can be poured. Find things that are liquid around your house. What other liquids can you think of?

2. Solids cannot be poured. What can you find around your house or outside that are solids?

3. There is also something in between a solid and a liquid called a suspension. Sometimes a suspension appears to be a liquid and a solid.

4. Oobleck is a suspension. Make your own Oobleck!

5. Stir together 2 cups of cornstarch and 1 cup of water.

6. Experiment with the Oobleck. How does it act like a solid? How does it act as a liquid?

Downloadable instructions (pdf)