Science Trunks

We are pleased to offer these Science Trunk activities for use in public libraries in Maine. They are designed to be exploratory activities for the presenter and audience (ages 7 to 12) alike. No prior knowledge is necessary to facilitate a trunk; bring only your curiosity and sense of wonder! We ship and receive our Science Trunks through the Inter-Library Loan van delivery service. If your library is not on the ILL service, you may make arrangements with a nearby ILL-participating library to pick up your trunk at their location (with their prior permission), or please contact Cynthia Randall to make other arrangements.

Trunks may be reserved online via a system developed by the Maine State Library. You may check trunk availability and/or reserve your trunk here. We recommend you receive a trunk one week prior to your program to allow yourself time to explore the trunk and select activities. You may keep a trunk for up to one month, unless we request otherwise.


Trunk Topics


What’s the difference between an insect and spider? Learn about insects, metamorphosis, migration and more in this science trunk. Activities include Bug Mixer, What is a Bug?, Metamorphosis, Butterfly Feeding Station, Butterfly Dress-ups & Butterfly Fans, Bug Walk, Bug Poems, Bug Trivia Catch.


Learn the science that explains the basic functions of the amazing human body. Activities include Blood Cells, The Human Heart, The Lungs, Bones and the Human Skeleton and A Conversation about Our Health.


This trunk includes simple activities with everyday items to inspire the creative side of our brains.  Activities include: Exploring Sound, Exploring Art and Exploring Paper.


Participants will solve a crime as they explore the science behind criminal investigations. Hands-on activities include learning investigative techniques like fingerprinting, and the basics of forensic science.


Participants will get to know this famous crustacean as more than just a favorite seafood dinner in Maine. Activities include Lobster Dress-up / Lobster Anatomy, Lobster Transect- A method used to study baby lobsters, Meet a Live Lobster and Lobster Craft – the Lobster Fan.


A Cornerstone favorite, this science trunk is a fun introduction to mammal tracks, behavior and habitats. Activities include Making Plaster Tracks, What is a Mammal?, Animal Signs Discussion, Drawing Animal Tracks, Mammal Who Am I?, Mammal Track Match-Up, and how to Un-mold Plaster Tracks.


This trunk serves as an introduction to archaeological science through a look at prehistoric cave dwellers and the earliest forms of painting. Activities include Paint & Painters: the earliest records (discussion), Carbon-14 ½ Life Game: How old is Sally, Natural Paint Brushes & Paint Making, and Painting.


The activities will bring new awareness to one of the most abundant and important resources on our “blue” planet,  water.  Activities include What Is Water?, The Water Cycle, Breathing Underwater, Frogs of Maine, Fish Printing – the art of Gyotaku, Groundwater Activity/Demonstration, and Water Science Jeopardy.