Be a part of the 4-H Summer STEM library program at the Waterloo Public Library VIRTUALLY this year!

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and if you live in the world today, then you most likely want to explore science in our everyday lives - as it is everywhere! Science is a way for us to look at and try to understand the world around us. Being scientific involves being curious, observing, asking questions how things happen and learning about how to find answers. There’s science behind what we eat, how we clean, what we do, and how we live. Discover the science, do your own research, and form your own conclusions.

Through participating we hope you’ll start to:

  • Develop problem solving and logical reasoning skills

  • Improve communication and teamwork skills by working the way scientists and engineers do - in teams

  • Develop responsible attitudes about science and technology and how they relate to the real world and people’s lives

  • Gain experience in problem solving and decision-making using science process skills

Summer STEM Scavenger Hunt

This year we will be having a Summer STEM Scavenger Hunt! Participate by printing off a our Summer STEM Scavenger Hunt, OR by picking one up curbside from the Waterloo Public Library! To pick up a hard copy curbside you just need to park in the library parking lot and call 319-291-4480 or text 319-214-0009 to let the library staff know you would like a 4-H STEM Scavenger Hunt bingo card and the staff will run it out to you!

Be sure to print off BOTH sides of the Scavenger Hunt if you are printing it yourself! Once you complete the Summer STEM Scavenger Hunt (both pages) please email the completed Summer STEM Scavenger Hunt (or a picture of the completed form), and necessary attachments to the Youth Nutrition and 4-H Coordinator, Sarah Tanis, at before July 31st, 2020. If you would like to turn in a hard-copy of the completed scavenger hunt pages you can drop it off at the Waterloo Public Library following the curbside pick-up instructions. Participants will be entered into a raffle to win some fabulous 4-H prizes! There will be FIVE raffle winners drawn at the end of the library summer program!

The Summer STEM Scavenger Hunt includes a variety of STEM related activities to participate in. You can find resources for these activities listed below. If you have any questions please contact Sarah Tanis at

Check out a STEM related book from the Waterloo Public Library.

  • Supplies needed: Library card and internet

Conduct your own experiment at home that you find interesting

  • Supplies needed: Will vary depending on the project, but please utilize the resources below for ideas!

Cow Superpowers & Your Carbon Footprint

  • Supplies Needed: Computer and internet access, Paper and pencil

Crops Feed the World

  • Supplies Needed: Computer and internet access, Paper and pencil

Iowa 4-H and NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium STEAM Academy

  • Challenge 1: Astronaut Lander Challenge

  • Challenge 2: Straw Rocket Challenge

  • Challenge 3: Cardboard Rover Challenge

  • Challenge 4: Moon 2 Mars Coding Challenge

  • Challenge 5: Build a Moon Habitat Challenge

  • Challenge 6: Cosmic Art Challenge

  • Challenge 7: On Target Challenge

  • Challenge 8: Planetary Poetry Challenge

Predicting the Weather

  • Supplies needed: Pen or pencil

Rube Goldberg Challenge

  • Supplies Needed: Any safe items will work. Gather things like balls, books, toy cars, string, and more!

Seeing Sound Challenge

  • Supplies Needed: Bowl, Saran Wrap, Rice, Metal Bowl, Metal Spoon

Seed Starting

  • Supplies Needed: Seeds, Plastic Sandwich Bags, Permanent Marker, Cotton Balls, Water

Soil Erosion Experiment

  • Supplies Needed: Two cake pans, Enough soil to fill the cake pans, A 2X4 piece of wood (or another item to set the pans on at an angle), Sprinkle can or spray bottle, A few handfuls of straw, grass clippings, leaves, or other plant material, Newspapers

Tech Tuesdays!

We will also be doing a VIRTUAL CHECK-IN every Tuesday at 2 PM for ‘Tech Tuesdays’ starting on Tuesday, June 9th, to see how everyone is doing on their scavenger hunt and to do a little STEM related activity! Jump on our Zoom session to share what you have been learning through your scavenger hunt and to see our Techy Tuesday experiments! We will also record the experiments and post them so you can check them out later if this time doesn’t work for you. Exact dates of Tech Tuesday discussions are: June 9, 16, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, and 28.

How to register for Tech Tuesday Zoom sessions:

Register early by filling out the survey found here:

Or call the Extension office at (319) 234-6811 or your library at (319)291-4476 to receive assistance.

Once you've submitted the survey you will receive an email with the link and password to participate.

Looking for more STEM?!

Check out these other 4-H resources below for even more activities to try!

Iowa State Engineering Kids, also known as ISEK, is a program form the Iowa State University College of Engineering Outreach and Education that promotes science, technology, and engineering to K-12 students.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Checkout STEM materials for K-3 children and their families. Checkout STEM kits are designed to support the development of literacy and STEM skills. Activity guides are provided for download free of charge.

Go! Magazine is a free, online magazine (e-zine) that is primarily for and by young people. It provides a forum for learning about transportation and transportation careers in the format that teenagers love most - electronic - and from a perspective they are most likely to respond to - their peers. Great for middle school, high school, and also college use.

Toying with Technology is a course in which the goal is to introduce students to recent advances in electronic technology in a gentle, non-threatening manner. Laboratory experiences typically involve the design and construction (out of LEGOs®) of simple models of real-world systems, including an elevator and its controller, a garage door and its opener, a computer - controlled car, and a house security system.

The Program for Women in Science and Engineering (PWSE) at Iowa State University provides statewide K-12 outreach programming. Programmatic efforts align with the Vision and Mission of the PWSE. The purpose of our outreach programs is to engage K-12 students in hands-on, experiential activities that foster an interest, and generate an overall awareness of the opportunities in STEM fields so that an increasingly diverse pool of students choose to pursuit and persist in a STEM field.