The Nebraska 4-H STEM Reading Connections Program

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics
Through Stories

Mother and son reading together

The Nebraska 4-H STEM Reading Connections Program


We are here to help you develop children and youth’s love for STEM through imagination guides.

En Español

This program provides all caregivers (early childhood professionals and parents) with books, guided questions, and expanded learning resources to support literacy development, enhance relationships, and to make a connection with your local library. Each year the theme changes, but the imagination guides always include the following:

  • Conversation Starters
  • Conversation Starters Complimentary Family Fun Guide 
  • STEM Connections
  • Story Extensions
  • Creative Arts
  • Infant & Toddlers
  • Nature
Child reading a picture book with a parent

2022 Early Childhood STEM Imagination Guides

Oceans of Possibilities 

Children are naturally curious about nature and science. Discover how you can foster an appreciation of the oceans and water conservation.

The following books have been selected and paired with activities that provide opportunities for exploration and play to inspire creativity and wonder.

Cactus Hotel Book Cover

A House for Hermit Crab  

Hermit Crabs

STEM Challenge: How do hermit crabs breathe?

Download this STEM
 Guide

Big Red Barn Book Cover

Hey, Water!

Water Cycle

STEM Challenge: Can a water cycle be created?

Download this STEM
 Guide

Owl Babies Book Cover

My Ocean is Blue

Water Cycle

STEM Challenge: How to construct layers of the ocean?

Download this STEM
 Guide

Not Norman Book Cover

Pokey, the Turtle Patrol

Sea Turtles 

STEM Challenge: How do turtles design safe and sturdy spaces?

Download this STEM
 Guide

Hello Ocean Book Cover

The Rainbow Fish 

Fish

STEM Challenge: Why are fish fast?

Download this STEM
 Guide

I Don’t Want To Be a Frog Book Cover

Rocket Says Clean Up

Ocean Pollution

STEM Challenge: How can pollution be reduced?

Download this STEM
 Guide

The Great Kapok Tree Book Cover

The Treasure of Pirate Frank 

Ocean Adventures

STEM Challenge: How does a pirate learn science?

Download this STEM
 Guide

Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? Book Cover

The Sandcastle that Lola Built  

Sandcastles

STEM Challenge: How are sandcastles built?

Download this STEM
 Guide

The activities engage the children. The connection between the activities and the book content is easy to grasp. These guides encourage play and the children are eager to participate.

Early Childhood Educator

Archived STEM Imagination Guides

2022 Library Commission Theme: Oceans of Possibilities 

Looking for engagement for school-aged children in your care? This program is available to youth development and early childhood professionals, afterschool clubs, summer school and camps, libraries, and parents. Resources provide engaging learning opportunities to spark an interest in STEM concepts and 4-H.

4-H 2022 Reading Connection Resources

  1. Head: Dolphin Tale Design   
  2. Heart: Treasurer Your Heart   
  3. Hands: Our Blue Planet   
  4. Health: Salt, it is not just for Taste 

2022 Oceans of Possibilities 4-H Resources

No endorsement of products or services by 4-H is intended or implied.

Want to request this program? Please contact us.

Three girls doing a science activity
Jackie Steffen Portrait

Jackie Steffen
Nebraska Extension in Cedar County
Early Childhood
jsteffen2@unl.edu

Sarah Roberts Portrait

Sarah Roberts
Nebraska Extension in Dixon County
Early Childhood
sarah.roberts@unl.edu