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Kentucky Science Center STEAM Kits

The Kentucky Science Center STEAM Kits were made possible by a $75,000 Institute of Museum and Library Services Program grant from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. The Do Science at Home STEAM Kits are a family facilitated kit series featuring Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Each kit includes hands on activities, guided instruction and supplies for families with students in grades 3-6.

Each kit will feature three activities for families around a centralized theme. These kits will integrate all the components of STEAM complete with a literacy component. These kits will be delivered to the library for families to pick up and keep.

The Explore Kit explores engineering through electric dough exploration, engineering challenges, and chemical reaction exploration using common household material.


· Kitchen Chemistry

o Items: Pipettes, petri dish, film canister, effervescent tablets

o Other items not included: Water, Salt, Baking soda, ice cubes

o Concept: Explore properties of basic chemistry with everyday items.

§ Effervescent tablets reactions

§ Other reactions- Experiment with other basic reactions such as baking soda and vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda or salt and water in the film canister or just on the petri dish to see there is a reaction of any kind. The guide helps to indicate what indicators to look for a chemical change (release of gas/bubbles in the reactions above).

· Electric Dough

o Items: LED light bulbs, batteries, battery adaptor, conductive dough, and insulating dough.

o Concept: Build a simple circuit using conductive dough.

§ The guide indicates how to create a continuous simple circuit by connecting the 9V battery to an LED through the use of conductive dough to act as wires.

§ Note: The 9v battery contains enough energy to blow the LED bulb if connected directly. The Dough provides enough resistance to prevent the bulb from burning out.

§ Bulb should light up.

§ Goal is to experiment with conductors and insulators by building models with both dough types provided.

· Engineering Challenge

o Items: Craft sticks, Rubber bands, Clothespins, Ping Pong ball, Dixie Cups

o Concept: Encourage and Foster problem solving- Fulfill the different engineering challenges using only the items provided.

o Challenge 1: Build an arm to retrieve a ball out of a cup.

o Challenge 2: Build a catapult to launch a ping pong ball.

o Challenge 3: Build the tallest structure that can raise the cup one foot off the ground.

o Challenge 4: Build a structure that can support the most weight.

STEAM Explore Booklist:

· Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

· Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

· The Secret Subway by Shana Corey

· The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by Kamkwamba & Mealer

· The Girl with a Mind for Math by Julia Finley Mosca

· Finding Wonders by Jeannine Atkins

The Create Kit highlights open creativity and storytelling through felting, flip book animation, weaving, and print making. Families will be able to create some unique final designs!


· Storytelling

o Items: Notepad, Binder clip, Pencil

o Concept: From woven patterns and symbolic textiles, poems and spoken narratives, to artwork and todays movies. In this activity, you will tell your story by creating a flipbook with a few basic materials.

· Felting

o Items: Wool, sponge, felting needles, felt.

o Concept: Learn the technique of felting by poking fibers through another material to create a 2D image with the different colors of wool.

· CD Weaving

o Items: Blank CD, plastic needle, yarn

o Concept: Create a concentric textile pattern by weaving around a CD.

· Block Printing

o Items: Foam sheet, brush, paint, index card, pencil, squeegee.

o Concept: carving or imprinting a design onto a foam block that is then transferred to paper for a mirrored print.

STEAM Booklist:

· A Symphony for the Sheep by C.M Millen

· To Be an Artist by Maya Ajmera & John D. Ivanko

· Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peaceby Ashley Bryan

· Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist by Julie Leung / Chris Sasaki

· The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear / Julie Morstad

And, finally:

The Secret Agent/Sleuth Kit allows students to combine their imagination with STEAM skills needed to become would-be investigators. The kits hone skills of observation, investigation and analysis to expose hidden messages, analyze fingerprints and encode messages.

· Hidden Ink

o Items: Index card, white crayon, washable marker.

o Concept: Uses material properties of crayons to create a resist, resulting in a hidden message easily revealed.

· Fingerprinting

o Items: Washable marker, balloons, magnifying card, pencil, tape, and cardstock.

o Concept: Learn about different methods to collect and transfer fingerprints an essential tool in forensic science.

· Cipher

o Items: Index card, cipher template, brass brad, pencil.

o Concept: Create a unique monoalphabetic code called a shift cipher. Encode and decode messages to share with friends.

STEAM Booklist:

· The Secret Life of Spies: Uncover true stories of secrecy and espionage inspired by 20 real-life spies by Noble / Mostov

· Spies, Code Breakers, and Secret Agents: A World War II Book for Kids by Carole P. Roman

· Code Cracking for Kids: Secret Communications Throughout History, with 21 Codes and Ciphers by Jean Daigneau

· Spy Guy: The Not So Secret Agent by Young / Santoso

· Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II by Liza Mundy

· George Washington's Secret Six (Young Readers Adaptation): The Spies Who Saved America by Kilmeade & Yaeger


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