STEM-Lit to Go! Kits for Check Out from Black Hawk County Extension!

Nelson and Hanson behind several children's books and toys.
New Releases:
STEM-Lit to Go! Iowa is a new 4-H program that supports the development of STEM and literacy skills for children in kindergarten through third grade. The instructional framework of this informal education program delivers integrated STEM-literacy activities that engage and support positive youth development.
Contributing authors and presenters Sara Nelson, Nicole Hanson, Katie Peterson and Brenda Welch opened the conference workshop with a rocket building activity using paper, tape and plastic straws. The activity demonstrated for staff the value of having STEM play included in STEM education efforts. Staff were encouraged to play with their hand crafted rockets, making guesses as to what would happen when the rockets launched and record data from their experimental play.
“STEM play nurtures children’s natural sense of curiosity and provides opportunities for them to make discoveries, creatively problem solve and collaborate with others,” Iowa 4-H Clover Kids Specialist Nicole Hanson said.
Iowa 4-H created the curriculum to support its 4-H Clover Kids leaders, giving them quality, researched based material that is easy to present to children.
“Research touches every part of this curriculum,” Iowa 4-H STEM lead Sara Nelson said.  “We need to provide children with the best possible material we can.”
Volunteer leaders of the Iowa 4-H Clover Kids program are encouraged to use the new curriculum for their groups. Clover Kids meet regularly throughout the year and help children explore and mature in life skills and learning.
“We want to help children make sense of STEM concepts," Nelson said. “With this program, children can engage with STEM activities and learn how to articulate those concepts to others using vocabulary that is introduced throughout the lessons.”
Lesson plans have five core elements and can be covered in 60- to 90-minute sessions.  Some lessons can be extended into a longer six-hour, day-long activity.
“Each lesson starts with a read-aloud fiction book that leads into a hands-on STEM play activity,” Nelson said. “From there, children discuss what was happening in the activity and can create another investigation.”
The lessons include fiction and non-fiction text and multiple opportunities to read, write, speak and listen. The elements of the lesson can be rearranged as needed to meet the needs of a classroom or afterschool group.
At the conference, Iowa 4-H provided STEM-Lit to Go! Kits to every Iowa county. Attendees also heard from retired NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson, key note speaker for the conference and author of a children’s book featured in the curriculum.
Each curriculum kit includes a youth activity manual, 22 books and supplies for 12 lessons. Volunteers and educators interested in using the curriculum can contact their local county Extension office. Iowa 4-H plans to share the curriculum nationally and internationally in 2019.  
The STEM-Lit to Go! Iowa program is a collaborative effort led by Iowa 4-H staff. The material was made possible by a grant from the Iowa 4-H Foundation with support from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.
New! • Visual Arts In Action.....more info coming soon, but the KIT is available at the Extesnion office

Terrific Trees 

Theme/Big Idea: Children explore the importance of trees in their lives. 
Share Sequoia Tree Information 
Read Book Our Tree Named Steve 
Take a Tree Walk, Collect Tree Leaves/Items 
Create Tree Chart Sharing How Trees Are Important 
Read Be a Friend to Trees 
Sort Items: From A Tree/Not from A Tree 
Leaf/Bark Rubbings or Other Tree Art, Writing About How to Be a Friend to Trees, Sharing 
Community Building: Trees and Squirrels Game! 


Theme/Big Idea: Children practice scientific investigation skills as they learn about bubbles. 
Blow Bubbles Outside, Observe 
Test Question: Are All Free-Floating Bubbles Round? Try Different Wands, Collect Data, Discuss 
Read Book Pop! A Book about Bubbles 
Community Building: Bubble Olympics! 

Curious Candy 

Theme/Big Idea: Children explore engineering activities tied to the text and learn how chocolate is made. 
Mystery Bag with Chocolate Inside 
Read Curious George Goes To the Chocolate Factory 
Engineering a Candy Machine, Presenting Our Machines 
Read from Cocoa Bean to Chocolate 
Optional: Sorting and Classifying Candy—Just Like George 
Community Building: Candy Tag 

Healthy Hearts 

Theme/Big Idea: Children explore how the heart works and learn about ways to keep it healthy. 
Fill Out Left Column of Your Heart Anticipation Guide 
Read Hear Your Heart, Listen To Heart 
Exercise and Creative Movement, Listen to Heart 
Fill Out Right Column of Your Heart Anticipation Guide 
Graph Favorite Physical Activity 
Community Building: Exercise-- Dancing Fun! 

Inventor’s Hat

Theme/Big Idea: Children explore the invention process, test toys and create a model of a new invention. 
Analyze Old and New Frisbees, Discuss Inventions, Read Frisbee History 
Test Toys, Discuss, Vote 
Read the Most Magnificent Thing 
Create Model of New Invention 
Share New Invention Idea 
Community Building: Drama Machine Activity 

Jumping Beans Meeting Agenda 

Theme/Big Idea: Children explore the life cycle of the Mexican Jumping Bean. 
Read Book Lucas and His Loco Beans 
Test Question: Do Jumping Beans Jump More at Room Temperature or a Warmer Temperature? OR Watch Video and Additional Activities 
Read Article and Assess Learning 
Community Building: Jumping Bean Game! 

Lots of Light 

Theme/Big Idea: Children investigate light and observe the path of light reflecting off a mirror. 
Read Light Riddle, Open Mystery Bag, Explore With Mirror 
Present Mirror Tasks and Data Chart 
Discuss Mirror Tasks and Read I See Myself 
Crinkled Foil Activity 
Optional: Mini Laser Light Show 
Community Building: Mirror, Mirror Drama Game 

Popping Popcorn

Theme/Big Idea: Children learn about science process skills, basic graphing and popcorn! 
Read all/part of Mercy Watson, Something Wonky This Way Comes (Alternative Book Available) 
Vote on Favorite Movie Snack 
Conduct Popcorn Investigations Based around Children’s Questions. Examples include: 
-Does popcorn weigh the same before and after popping? 
-How long will it take for the first kernel to pop? 
-Which popcorn tastes better? White or Yellow? 
-Why does popcorn pop? 
Read Corn Book to Help Answer Questions 
Community Building: Reenacting Scenes from Something Wonky This Way Comes (Or Alternative Book) 

Roller Coasters

Theme/Big Idea: Children explore the ways to change the speed and direction of rolling objects. 
Read Roller Coasters 
Investigate With Pool Noodle Coasters 
Discuss, and draw 
Read I Fall Down while doing activities 
Community Building: Reenacting the book—Roller Coaster Time! 

Sunny Sunshine

Theme/Big Idea: Children plan and conduct an investigation into why UV beads change color. 
Create Bracelets with UV Beads, Record Color 
Investigate UV Beads Outside, Record Color 
Design and Conduct Investigation(s) About Why Beads Changed Color 
Read Sun Safety Article, Draw Conclusions 
Read Sunshine on My Shoulders, Discuss 
Conduct Sunscreen Investigation 
Community Building: Movement to a Sunshine Song 

Super Sled  

Theme/Big Idea: Children will investigate motion and design a super sled! 
Read Mr. Putter & Tabby Hit the Slope 
Investigate Sleds (Children Not Riding) 
Discuss Sledding Investigation, Draw Conclusions 
Read what is Friction? Book 
Design Super-Fast Sled 
Community Building: Coffee Filter Snowflakes 

Wonderful Wind 

Theme/Big Idea: Children explore wind and how it impacts their lives through science investigations. 
Read Book I Face the Wind, Do Group Activities As You Read 
Group Writing or Discussion: What We Know About Wind 
Group Investigation: Will The Wind Push It? 
Group Writing or Discussion: Continue/Conclude What We Know About Wind 
Community Building: Wind Poem (Drama) and Wind Sock Making 
STEM-Lit to Go! Home Connection Letters

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