STEAMing and Reading

Moderation state
Grant Applicant
Heidi Bushway Verkler
School Site
Grant Date

Building. Creating. Designing. Hands on activities. That's what happens in the STEAM Lab at North Tahoe School. However, at this time, the love of learning through reading books, seeing pictures and sketches, learning from other people's mistakes, failures, and blunders to help enhance and support key concepts is missing. STEAMing and Reading is a program where books will be accessible to students in the STEAM Lab supporting their learning of key concepts and expanding their ideas. Many classrooms in our district have wonderful classroom libraries. The STEAM Lab is another learning space in which students learn and my hope is to continue to instill the love of learning and reading through books! Concepts about failure and how accidental mistakes became amazing inventions. Learnings of some amazing hidden female inventors and how they helped expand the space program. Creative ways to expand one's mind by looking at boxes and scribbles a little differently. The STEAMing and Reading program will bring books into the STEAM Lab Learning Library and be the building blocks of a library of books for students to peruse through and learn from while learning more about how the world works.

Benefits of Program

The STEAMing and Reading program will allow students in Grades 5 - 8 to learn more about the world around them through tangible books. It will benefit students who are looking for ideas of what to build out of everyday materials they find in their homes. It will benefit students who want to learn about how the Super Soaker was created. It will benefit students who will be learning about the Design Thinking process and how ideas get reiterated several times before becoming an invention. The books that will live in the STEAM Lab Learning Library are books that will encourage students natural abilities to wonder and be curious. These books will benefit any and all students who want to learn how inventions came to be and how things work.

Success of Program

The STEAMing and Reading program will be successful when students come in and ask to read a book about women inventors. It will be successful when I read a book as a read aloud to introduce a concept such as coding. It will be successful when the books encourage students to expand upon their interests, questions, and ideas. These books will allow students to build upon their learnings in the STEAM Lab and encourage students to go outside of the walls of the lab, classroom, and school to expand upon their interests.


The STEAMing and Reading program will be implemented in the STEAM Lab at North Tahoe School for students in Grades 5 - 8 during the entire school year. The books will be housed in the lab and accessible to the students. The books will be used to help introduced key concepts. They will be used as a read aloud at the beginning of a new unit. They will be used by students who are interested in getting new ideas of objects to create. They will also be accessible to students if they are conducting research for another class. 

Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

The books purchased for the STEAMing and Reading program could definitely be loaned out to other grades, teachers and students on a short term basis. The idea behind purchasing these books is to keep them housed in the North Tahoe School STEAM Lab to help build a STEAM Lab Learning Library where students can sit down, peruse the books and get ideas for objects to create. To help expand upon their ideas and to learn from other inventors mistakes. The STEAM Lab Learning Library would be a resource that could be used while in the lab creating or to help students expand their knowledge in other subject areas. 

If the purchase of these books for the STEAMing and Reading program is granted and is successful with the students in the STEAM Lab at North Tahoe School then there is the possibility of a request for more and newer books to build upon the STEAM Lab Learning Library in the near future. The program is sustainable in that the students will have access to the books purchased. The variety of books being offered to the students may trigger a need to request more assistance.
Amount Funded
Individual Budget Items(s)
$14 - Hidden Figures
$24 - The Way Things Work
$10 - Whoosh!
$14 - Boo-Boos That Changed the Word
$11 - Violet the Pilot
$11 - Grace Hopper
$14 - Zom-Be A Design Thinker!
$13 - Rube Goldbert
$13 - How to Code a Sandcastle
$13 - Women in Science
$19 - Women in STEM
$13 - Never Stop Wondering
$14 - What To Do With a Box
$10 - Iggy Peck: Architect
$10 - Ada Twist: Scientist
$10 - Rosie Revere
$12 - The Most Magnificent Thing
$12 - What Do You Do With An Idea?
$12 - Going Places
$15 - Papa's Mechanical Fist
$8 - So You Want to Be an Inventor?
$9 - Mistakes That Worked
Other funding sources

In the future, perhaps the Measure AA Tech funds could be used to help support and expand upon the variety of books offered in the STEAM Lab Learning Library.

File Uploads

During this period of distance learning I have expanded my online professional learning network (PLN) and have interacted with several STEM teachers throughout the country about curriculum and ways to expand upon key concepts and curriculum that is taught in our learning spaces. The list of books that I created and am looking at purchasing are books that many STEM Labs and Makerspaces have to support their students. I have been part of many conversations where we discuss the importance of literacy and the love of reading in our spaces just the regular education classrooms. Most classrooms have wonderful classroom libraries. The STEAM Lab is another learning space that hopes to instill the love of learning and reading through books!