STEM Challenge

Have fun and experiment with SFPL's STEM Challenge, a webseries packaged for the budding scientist and engineer to practice the scientific method using common household items. SFPL youth librarians share their love for STEM with tips, tricks and other tidbits featuring fun experiments, along with resource lists and easy how-to videos.

As a part of Summer Stride 2023, get more connected than ever to STEM Challenge as SFPL offers the following activities, while supplies last:

  • Weather Station (Activity Sheets PDF) : Learn about the science of weather as you build three devices to measure wind, rainfall, and air pressure.
  • Balloon Racers (Activity Sheets PDF) : Build balloon racers and explore the idea that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
  • Drops on a Penny (Activity Sheets PDF) : Test the power of liquid as water drops on a penny stick together and become stronger as more drops are added.
  • Building Structures (Activity Sheets PDF) : Engage in how the physics of engineering and architecture work when you design and build your own structures.
  • Hot Air Balloons (Activity Sheets PDF), at select locations: Learn about matter, gas laws and chemistry as you create a hot air balloon.

Check with your local library on how to participate in our STEM Challenge and be sure to check back for new STEM Challenge videos.

Download, print and fill out your STEM C lab sheet while you complete your experiment:

STEM handoutSTEM C Lab Sheet (PDF)

A note on the series title:

San Francisco Public Library strives towards being an anti-racist agency. In the spirit of this work, we changed the original name of this series, "STEM Challenge Yo’Self", in recognition of the fact that it was appropriated from Black vernacular—an act we acknowledge contributes to the systemic oppression of Black people and the perpetuation of stereotypes that are rooted in racism. We apologize for the harm the original title may have caused to our Black community members and staff, and we have updated the name of this series to “STEM Challenge.” We are committed to doing better. Learn more about the library’s Racial Equity Work (PDF) and Racial Equity Commitment, and please read the SF Human Rights Commission's anti-Black racism statement (PDF).