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STEM Kit: Trees (Elementary)

May 26th, 2022
Categories: Educational Connections, Kids, STEAM Adventures
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Trees are amazing, and I (Laura) am obsessed with them! That’s why we’re going to have two STEM kits on trees, one a Preschool kit and one an Elementary kit. This kit is for the Elementary-aged students ages 5 & up, but look for another kit coming soon that’s especially for preschoolers. I love trees so much I just couldn’t stop at one kit.

Trees (Elementary) Kit Contents

This kit contains:

There are several activities to do with this kit. First, you might want to examine the tree rings carefully. Can you count how old the tree is? Can you find the phloem and the xylem? There are lens of different magnifying levels so you can see really close!

Magnifying the tree rings

Next, go out on a limb and try identifying some tree leaves for yourself! The book Tree Finder has a great way to identify trees. It’s set up like a choose your own adventure book. Start with if the tree has leaves or needles. If needles, then look at the length of needles. If leaves, go to page 14 and look at how the leaves grow on the branch, and so on. See if you can identify the 10 included leaves in the kit!

Tree Finder book and leaves

Next, you can play a fun matching game and learn some types of trees! These cards are beautiful, and there’s a fun (and challenging!) twist. The match isn’t two cards that look exactly like. One card is a drawing of the whole tree, and the match is a close up of its leaves. Tricky! The drawings are really lovely to look at.

Match a Leaf game

Finally, enjoy looking through the two included books! The Magic and Mystery of Trees has lots of great information: what, exactly, is a tree? How do trees work with other plants around them? (This is my favorite section. Did you know trees start to vibrate if they aren’t getting enough water from their roots? Or that a tree can tell which animal is eating it by the taste of their spit??) There are also sections on places trees live and how humans use trees.

The Magic and Mystery of Trees sample page

The other book is about celebrity trees! Read Celebritrees to learn about the oldest known living organism in the world! (Hint: it’s a tree.) There is a tree in India grown from a branch of a tree that Buddha sat under. There are also trees grown from seeds that have been to the moon, and many more!

This kit is available in the Youth Services department in the STEM kit area (it’s in the northwest corner of the floor, between the J Fiction and the Story & Activity Room). It checks out for 3 weeks.

Questions? Email Laura at lauraw@dkpl.org.