New Mexico State Library

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New Explora STEM to Read Trunks are Here!

The Explora Science Center and Museum has created 4 new STEM to Read activity trunks for the New Mexico State Library. They received an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant and as a partner, the New Mexico State Library has coordinated with them on professional development workshops for public library staff around the state and they also created new STEM to Read trunks for use in public libraries around the state.

Earlier in the spring, Explora asked library staff around the state what kind of topics they would be interested in seeing either in trunks or at workshops. As a result of those surveys, Explora held 2 workshops in April- one in Las Cruces at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library and one in Dixon at the Embudo Valley Community Library. These workshops were on rocks and dirt and how libraries can create their own STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs using easily found or inexpensively purchased materials. These were attended by 33 staff members from 21 libraries.

We also received 4 new activity trunks from Explora this week. These new trunks are topics based on the librarian survey from the spring and are:

  • Garden Detectives- Exploring Plants
  • Towers and Triangles- Investigating Engineering
  • Scissors, Stamps and Stems- Creating Art
  • Creature Features- Discovering Animals

The trunks are smaller than previous trunks which makes transportation of the trunks more efficient. They contain 3 activities with all the necessary materials along with 10-12 books, both fiction and non. These are meant to be an early literacy program in a box but the activities in them can easily be aged up for school aged children, teens and even adults! Some of the the activities included in these trunks are: using tree branches and leaves to create paintbrushes; creating your own insect using clay and recycled materials; looking at seeds, leaves, feathers and butterflies under magnifying loupes; making simple levers and using them to launch pompoms at a bullseye, and more!

Public libraries can check out these or any of the other STEM to Read trunks for 4-8 weeks, depending on the wait list. To inquire about borrowing the trunks, please contact Youth Services Consultant, Deanne Dekle, at

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