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Early Learners (Pre-K-2)

Lesson Plans and Activities

Introduce simple science concepts to early learners with this series of lesson plans produced by Carnegie Science Center in partnership with PNC Grow Up Great. While originally published for classroom use, these activities use common household items and can be adapted for online instruction.

Tree Frog Feeding opens in a new window
Learn about the tree frogs in Carnegie Science Center’s H2Oh! Field Station with Science Educator Carla Littleton.
Content themes: Animal Science, Habitats

Making Kale Chips opens in a new window
Learn about health and nutrition while making a healthy snack with Science Educator Christina Soff.
Content themes: Health, Nutrition, Environment

Howling Baloon Demonstration opens in a new window
Learn about sound vibrations with Science Educator Christina Soff.
Content themes: Sound Energy

Balloon Skewer Demonstration opens in a new window
Science Educator Christina Soff demonstrates the basics of polymers and surface tension by skewering a balloon without popping it.
Content themes: Chemistry, Molecules, Polymers

Diffusion Demonstration opens in a new window
Learn about diffusion with Science Educator James Falba.
Content themes: Chemistry

DIY Invisible Ink opens in a new window
Science Educator Jill Rible shows you how to make invisible ink using simple household ingredients.
Content themes: Chemistry

How to Grow Food from Scraps opens in a new window
Join Science Educator Carla Littleton in growing your own food from scraps of fruits and vegetables!
Content themes: Environmental Science

Bubbles opens in a new window
Introduce students to chemistry concepts with a universally loved activity: blowing bubbles!
Content themes: Chemistry, Properties of Matter

Building Bridges opens in a new window
Encourage students’ creativity and problem-solving skills as they build structures with a variety of materials.
Content themes: Engineering, Physics, Problem Solving

Colorful Milk
This exciting, colorful experiment can also serve as a reminder of the importance of handwashing.
Content themes: Chemistry, Reactions

Mixing Substances opens in a new window
Experiment with chemical reactions and be wowed when substances bubble and fizz.
Content themes: Chemistry, Reactions

Oobleck
Let students get messy as they investigate this non-Newtonian fluid.
Content themes: Properties of Matter, Scientific Observation

Play Dough opens in a new window
Guide students as they make their own play dough and discover the science of change.
Content themes: Chemistry, Reactions, Five Senses

Sink or Float opens in a new window
In addition to learning about buoyancy, students will practice prediction, observation, experimentation, and recording results.
Content themes: Properties of Water, Force and Motion

Taking Things Apart opens in a new window
Encourage students’ natural curiosity by exploring what’s inside the electronics and toys they use every day.
Content themes: Engineering, Forces and Interaction, Technology

Water on a Penny opens in a new window

Students will learn how to affect an experiment’s outcome by changing just one of its variables.
Content themes: Properties of Water, Scientific Thinking

Videos

Share these videos with students and families or use them inspire your own lessons! Find more fun and educational videos on Carnegie Science Center’s YouTube opens in a new window channel.

DIY Crayons opens in a new window
Join Science Educator Wendy Brenneman as she shows you how to make new crayons at home using old crayon pieces, a mold, and oven.
Content themes: Properties of Matter, Color Mixing

DIY Oobleck opens in a new window
Let’s get messy! Science Educator Jill Rible demonstrates how to make Oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid.
Content themes: Properties of Matter, Scientific Observation

Make a Weather Journal and Rain Gauge opens in a new window
Science Educator Jason Dohoda shares his tips for creating your very own weather journal and rain gauge.
Content themes: Meteorology

Dream Big Educator Guide opens in a new window
The educational movie Dream Big is an inspiring celebration of innovations big and small and the amazing engineers behind them. Containing 12 lesson plans covering grades K-12, this Educator Guide aligns with the core engineering ideas and principles laid out in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Dream Big is available for streaming on Vimeo on Demand opens in a new window.
Content themes: Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences