Science and Math Programs Chapter

By Christine McNew


Try some of these exciting hands-on science and math activities this summer! All are fun and educational and can be easily and inexpensively presented. Browse through the links and select activities to include in your weekly library programs for preschoolers and elementary school-age children. Or, begin a weekly or monthly science club at your library!

All of the programs have literature connections, and many are based on children’s picture books that librarians may read at the program. Gather, display, and booktalk science and math books from your collection to share with children and families at your programs. For lists of picture books with science and math concepts that children will enjoy, visit the Vermont Center for the Book at

Science and Math Activities for Preschool Children

PBS Kids

Select activities from this list of PBS Kids programs to include in preschool storytimes.

Curious George Discovery Guide - Overview

Math Investigation: Grouping and Graphing

Science Investigation: Blow Wind Blow

ZOOM, the PBS Kids Show Science! - science.

What's the BIG Idea?

Children from ages 4 to 8 can be scientists or mathematicians. They can detect it, solve it, dig it up, discover it, find it, and explain it while enjoying these early math and science activities. Just download the PDF file of What's the BIG Idea? Summer Reading Program Guide at and you are on your way. These activities were developed specifically for public librarians by the Vermont Center for the Book with a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Science and Math Activities for Elementary School Children

Aha! Science

Explore dozens of science experiments and handouts on the Aha! Science web site at and share them with children at your library this summer! This site also includes links to space-related programs at It was created by staff from the Carroll County Public Library in Carroll County, Maryland.

Dragonfly TV!

Try these cool experiments from PBS DragonflyTV! at

Explore! Fun with Science

Explore space and planetary science with exciting activities and lessons from the Lunar and Planetary Institute at All of the following Explor-ation activities were developed specifically for public librarians!

Mars: Inside and Out!

Health in Space

To the Moon and Beyond! - with NASA’s LRO Mission


Space Stations

Space Colonies

Space Capsules

Solar System


Shaping the Planets

Our Place in Space

Ruff Guide to Science

Offer hands-on activities for children ages 8 to 10 from the PBS kid’s show, FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman. The free Ruff Guide to Science includes six activities and a game about exciting science careers. It also includes a list of science books, selected by librarians, leader notes, direction sheets that can be photocopied for kids, tips on recruiting kids from your community, and membership cards to start a weekly FETCH Club. No television is viewing is required. All activities include easy-to-find, inexpensive materials that won’t break your budget. To order your FREE copy, e-mail and include your name, organization, email, phone number, and mailing address. Please indicate whether you are including a work or home address.

San Francisco’s Exploratorium

Enjoy Exploratorium: Hands-On Activities at

Or, try some Exploratorium: Exploratopia Sample Activities at

Science Extravaganzas! Librarian Test Librarian Approved

Children of all ages will have fun discovering Science Extravaganzas! Librarian Test Librarian Approved by Janice Van Cleave, at

This manual was published by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in 1998.

ZOOM, the PBS Kids Show Science!

Have fun with games and activities from ZOOM, the PBS Kids Show Science!

Visit ZOOM Phenom - Explore Weird Things That Happen at and enjoy fun activities with everyday objects! Or, visit ZOOM Sci - Mix Hot Science With Your Cool Ideas! at for exciting and easy activities about chemistry, engineering, the five senses, forces, life sciences, patterns, sounds, structures, and water.

Public Libraries as Partners in Education

These science and math activities support public libraries in becoming partners in education. They are aligned with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Prekindergarten Curriculum Guidelines, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), and with national educational standards. Browse through the links below to learn about the standards that the math and science activities you select support, and let parents know that the activities will help their children in succeed in school.

Prekindergarten Curriculum Guidelines

Science - Essential Knowledge and Skills for Grades K - 8

Math - Essential Knowledge and Skills for Grades K - 8

Visit the PBS Parents’ Child Development Tracker for a description of developmentally appropriate math and science knowledge and skills for children from 1 to 9. Just select an age from and click on Mathematics and Science. You will want to share this site with parents!

PBS Parents’ Child Development Tracker

To become a partner with a science center in your community, visit DragonflyTV’s Find a Science Center at and scroll through this list of Texas science museums, hands-on science centers, natural history museums, zoos, arboretums, aquariums, and children’s museums. Invite representatives from the science centers in your community to provide programs at your library, and encourage children and families to visit them.

Texas Reading Club 2009 Programming Manual / Libraries: Deep in the Heart of Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011