What is Leap into Science?

Developed by The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia, PA, Leap into Science is a national program designed to build interest and skills in science and literacy for children ages 3–10 and their families, in community settings like libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs. The program originated in 2007 through a partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, with the goal of engaging underserved children and families across Philadelphia in science and literacy learning. In partnership with the National Girls Collaborative, Leap into Science is now being disseminated through state partnerships between museums, libraries, out-of-school time organizations, and others, to reach a broader and more diverse audience of children and families nationwide.

North Carolina

The NC STEM Ecosystem, a statewide collaborative of STEM organizations, submitted a proposal to The Franklin Institute in 2020 to coordinate Leap into Science training for early childhood educators across North Carolina. Our goal is to connect with formal and informal educators that understand the power of using children's literature linked to inquiry-based activities to introduce STEM concepts. The NC Leap into Science program is just beginning our efforts to build regional groups of workshop presenters. We will be hosting virtual trainings of workshop presenters using the Leap into Science Light & Shadow curriculum in the coming months. Educators who are trained will become part of a statewide network of workshop providers and have access to kit materials and expanded curriculum offerings. The training and materials are offered at no cost to interested educators.


Reading serves to open windows into children's minds as they are asked to "notice and wonder" about what they see and hear.


Engaging students with concepts from their reading using hands-on activities helps them answer questions and experiment with solutions.


Ultimately this leads to a better understanding of the world around them, fuels their curiosity, and encourages them ask questions and continue to discover.

“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray,

Go throw your TV set away,

And in its place you can install,

A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

— Roald Dahl,

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

"It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations—something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own."

— Katherine Patterson

Author of Bridge to Terebithia

Looking for a workshop?

As we train workshop presenters across North Carolina we want to be sure that they are able to be located by parents and other child caretakers. If you are interested in attending a Leap into Science workshop with young children (ages 3-10), go to NC STEM Center and use the Keywords “Leap into Science” to find a workshop near you.