LEAP into Science

LEAP into Science is a program designed to engage children and families in science and literacy by integrating hands-on science activities with children's literature.  The program began in 2007 as a partnership between The Franklin Institute and the Free Library of Philadelphia, and aims to enhance skills of informal educators to engage underserved communities in science and literacy learning.

LEAP child

  • Instructional Videos

    Check out new LEAP into Science videos that highlight strategies for facilitating informal science and literacy learning with children!

    Process of Science

    This video highlights the importance of experiencing the process of science in informal science learning.  It demonstrates how to engage children in various steps of this process: making observations, making predictions, asking questions, testing, retesting, and reflecting.

    Connecting Science & Literacy

    This video highlights how children's books and science learning are connected.  It demonstrates strategies for how to use books as tools for engaging children and families in science and literacy learning.

    Asking Questions

    This video highlights how to ask questions to guide science and literacy learning, using both open-ended and closed-ended questions.

  • More Information

    The LEAP into Science program consists of a range of workshops that incorporate hands-on science activities and related children’s books for children ages 3-10 and families, as well as science bookmarks and exploration cards that extend learning at home.  These programs are currently offered in 52 branches of The Free Library of Philadelphia, as well as in partner organizations listed below in 10 states across the US.

  • Where is LEAP into Science being offered?

    LEAP into Science programming is currently taking place in Philadelphia, PA as well as 10 expansion sites nationwide. Each site consists of 2-3 partnering organizations. All sites are listed below.

    COLORADO, Lafayette
    WOW Children's Museum
    Lafayette Public Library

    ILLINOIS, Rockford
    Discovery Center Museum
    Rockford Public School District #205

    NEW JERSEY, Westfield
    New Jersey School-age Care Coalition
    New Jersey Department of Education,
    Office of Student Support Services

    NEW MEXICO, Albuquerque
    New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
    Rio Rancho Public Library
    Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Libraries

    NEW YORK, Queens, New York City
    Queens Library, Children's Library Discovery Center
    New York Hall of Science

    OHIO, Cleveland
    Cuyahoga County Public Library
    Great Lakes Science Center
    Case Western Reserve University


    OREGON, Portland
    Multnomah County Library
    Impact Northwest
    Multnomah County Schools Uniting Neighborhood Service System (SUN)

    PENNSYLVANIA, Philadelphia
    The Franklin Institute Science Museum
    The Free Library of Philadelphia

    Martin Library/York County Library
    School District of the City of York
    York College, Department of Education

    SOUTH CAROLINA, Columbia
    EdVenture Children's Museum
    Richland County School District One

    UTAH, Salt Lake City
    Natural History Museum of Utah
    Salt Lake City Public Library
    KUED (TV Station)
  • How do I get involved?

    Educators & Librarians: LEAP into Science professional development and curriculum resources will become more broadly available. 

    Receive updates on when curricula and trainings will be available

    Philadelphia Parents & Caregivers: Visit www.freelibrary.org or contact your local library branch to learn when the next LEAP into Science program is being offered.

    For all other inquiries, please email leapteam@fi.edu.


  • Sponsors

    This material is based upon work supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation under Grants DRL #0714658 and DRL #1223730. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This project is also made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

    Logo for the National Science Foundation
    National Science Foundation