STEM Exploration

Play Meadow!

1. Grow a play meadow!
2. Prepare an aluminum pan by poking holes in the bottom for drainage
(adults only!).
3. Fill with potting or garden soil and water.
4. Spread grass seed over soil, fairly heavily.
5. Place in a warm, sunny location and keep soil moist.
6. Grass should germinate within a week.
7. In a few more, you’ll have a tray of lush grass that will be a perfect
play surface for toy animals and a vivid imagination!
8. Happy May!


Nature Senses Detective

Spring is a wonderful time to get outside with your family! For this activity, you just need

small plastic containers, paper bags, and access to nature. To start, go outside and

collect items for the senses detective challenge. These can be flowers, leaves, clover,

pine needles, pine cones, rocks, whatever the children want to collect. Just make sure

the items will fit into the containers.

Then, have the children take a moment to explore the item. Touch it, smell it, study it.

Use interesting words to describe the item using your senses: sight, smell, touch,

listening, (probably not tasting!). This can be during the walk or after you head back

home. The idea is to have them slow down and pay attention to things they likely race

past every day.

Source: adapted from

Seed Jar!

Help your child observe how a seed germinates and grows! You just need a jar, paper towels, some water, and some seeds.
1. First, fill the jar with paper towels, packing them down a bit so that they will fill the jar when damp.
2. Water the jar, but don’t flood it. You don’t want standing water in the bottom of the jar.
3. Place the seeds snugly between the damp paper towels and the side of the jar. You can use different kinds of seeds in the same jar to notice differences and similarities between seeds. Good options include sunflower seeds, beans, peas.
4. Keep the paper towels damp but not soaking, and keep an eye on those seeds!
5. As the seeds germinate, roots will develop and seek water and a seedling will emerge and seek sunlight. The different seeds will germinate at different times so check daily.
6. Happy Spring!

Cup of Rain


Scientists use models to learn more about the world.
Make a model of rain today with your child!
1. Gather two clear containers, water, shaving cream, blue food coloring
or liquid water color a pipette or spoon.
2. Fill the one container ¾ full of water.
3. Add shaving cream to the top.
4. Fill the other container ¼ full of water and color with the blue food
coloring or liquid water color.
5. Slowly add drops of the colored water to the shaving cream and
water container.
6. Watch as the shaving cream becomes saturated and colored water
begins to seep through and fall to the bottom like rain.
7. Make observations, ask questions, record ideas and wonder.
8. Clouds when heavy with moisture release and precipitation falls to
the earth. Liquid precipitation is rain. The model you made today is
like the clouds when they are full of moisture and they release rain.








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2018 Awards

-SYPF Grant recipient 2016, 2017, 2018

-River-Friendly Farmer Award from the local Soil and Water Conservation District. This award recognizes farmers who, through good protection management practices, kelp keep Indiana’s rivers, lakes and streams clean.

-2018 McKinney Family Foundation Scholarship award recipient to attend Fundraising and Advocacy for Environmental Nonprofits offered by The Fund Raising School

IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

2017 Awards

-Joe Wright Recognition of Excellence Award by the Environmental Educators Association of Indiana

-Hoosier Chapter Soil And Water Conservation Society’s Education and Communications award for 2017!

-SYPF grant recipient 2016, 2017

-Intern, Madeline Anderson – 2017 Excellence in Summer Service Education Award Recipient


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