S.T.E.A.M. Classroom

St. Thomas’ Nursery School is pleased to announce that we are an emerging Pathway Partner!


November 15th, 2017


The Blue and Green Pre-K classroom chromatographers “brought the outside in” to explore why leaves change color.

After moving and stretching our bodies like tall, majestic oaks and swirling leaves in the autumn wind, we muddled our favorite color leaves in a mason jar with rubbing alcohol using scissors and nature tools. We folded a coffee filter to place into our jars and made predictions on a blank filter of what we thought might happen after leaving one end of the filter to soak in our leaf liquid overnight. Would we find a pattern? Colors? What would that tell us? Would it be a clue that the trees are “going to sleep” for the winter and making less food?

We wrapped up our first steam adventure with the book “Little Yellow Leaf,” a fall favorite. Ask your chromatographer what appeared on his or her filter!

December 2017


Full Steam Ahead!

The Blue and Green Group Lenni Lenape searched for native woodland animals in our “indoor forest” outside the STNS steam room. Sitting on furs and carpets around our “campfire,” we brainstormed what we could learn from observing animals around us in nature. We then used our animal instincts to find berries and other found-in-nature items to create a collection of subtle natural paints. (berries, wood ash, mud, spices such as turmeric) We crushed, pulverized, stirred, mixed with flour and water and strained in teams of four to produce beautiful colors. White pine “paint brushes,” bark and sea sponges in hand, we created our native paint masterpiece hanging in the hallway of STNS!

In the spirit of Jan Brett’s wintry classic Animal Santa, the Orange Tigers enjoyed their first steam adventure this December. We dipped our hands deep in bird seed of various sizes to get a feel for how we might be able to construct ornaments to feed our feathered friends,. Adding corn syrup, gelatin and warm water to the seed, we concocted a goopy substance we predicted would harden overnight after we scooped it onto our favorite shaped cookie cutter. The following day we searched for a tree “just right” to hang our edible ornaments for our birds to enjoy from us, their animal Santas!