Science Programs (STEM)

To request materials contact the Children's Room at 510-620-6557.

Available while supplies last.

Experiment 1: Candle in a Vacuum

The materials you will need:

  • 1 Candle—It should be at least 1 inch tall, or you can stack 2 smaller ones
  • 1 Clear plate (or baking dish) to fill with water
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring (You need 1-2 drops)
  • Clear drinking glass (to cover candle)
  • A match or lighter and an adult to light the candle!

Experiment 2: Bubbles

Blow bubbles with a bubble solution made from water and dish soap!  

For this experiment you will need: 

  • Dish soap 
  • Water 
  • Measuring cups (1/2 cup, 1 cup) 
  • 1 individually wrapped bubble tea straw 
  • 1 regular straw 
  • (optional): ¼ cup glycerin in one 8 oz plastic bottle* 

Try 2 cups of water to 1/2 cup of dish soap.  If you have glycerin -- add 2-4 tsp. to your bubble mix and see what happens!  Find the scientific explanation for why bubbles form. Also, try to pick up a bubble with your hand, or with your hand in a glove. Try with your hand wet and dry.... 

*Glycerin is provided in the take-home STEM kits if you asked for one from the Library or receive one at a free school lunch site.

Experiment 3: Walking Water

For this experiment you will need:

  • 5 glasses of water
  • 3 colors of food coloring
  • 4 paper towels, folded lengthwise

Experiment 4: Mentos and Diet Coke

For this experiment you will need:

  • An area that can get sticky and/or is easily cleaned.
  • Mentos
  • Diet Coke (liter bottles used in video)

Experiment 5: Elephant Toothpaste; Seesaw Candles

For these activities you will need: 


  • Outside area (to make mess) 
  • Empty plastic soda/water bottle (we used 24 oz.) 
  • Large baking pan (to contain reaction) 
  • Hydrogen peroxide (we used 3%) 
  • 1 cup measure 
  • Dish soap (a few drops) 
  • Food coloring (just a few drops for best swirl effect) 
  • Yeast --one packet of dry yeast 
  • Warm water to add to yeast 
  • Spoon--larger than teaspoon 


  • 1 drinking straw 
  • Scissors 
  • Ruler (to measure 1 inch) 
  • Sewing needle or straight pin to poke hole in straw 
  • Toothpick or paper clip to hold straw on seesaw 
  • 2 birthday candles 
  • Tape (if needed to secure candles in straw--ours fit snugly without tape) 
  • 2 cups or cans, same height 
  • Match or lighter and grown up to light the candles 

Have fun!