Test the Waters Family Exploration Kit


In partnership with Cornerstones of Science and the NIH All of Us Research Program, the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) is offering an exciting new citizen science resource to public libraries. The Test the Waters Family Exploration Kit is a fun, accessible, loanable kit which includes four family friendly activities, and all the instructions and materials needed (audio file guides are available in in Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish and Vietnamese). The free kits are available to the first 500 requesting libraries! They come in a lockable plastic tote and can fit on a typical library shelf.

What's in the Test the Waters Family Exploration Kit?

Family Activity Guide – A seven-page step-by-step guide to all activities found in the kit.

ACTIVITY 1 – Part 1: Water for Life (Lifestyle) Families discover just how much water our bodies are made of. You’ll learn how water helps us stay cool, helps our organs function properly, and breaks down food so our bodies can use it for energy.

ACTIVITY 1 – Part 2: Test The Intestines! (Health) Explore the journey of food through the intestines and imagine how water helps this process.

ACTIVITY 2: Down The Drain (Environment) Find out what storm drains have in common with the clean water you drink. You will see and feel what is going down the drain...be prepared!

ACTIVITY 3 – Part 1: Pipe Up! (Environment) The water coming out of your faucets took a long journey to get there, starting from a reservoir, stream or ground water. Learn how your family can become citizen scientists helping researchers find solutions to keeping our drinking water safe at home.

ACTIVITY 3 – Part 2: Get The Lead Out (Environment) Water pipes can be made of different materials. Families will learn how to test and identify pipes in your home.

ACTIVITY 4: Crowd the Tap Citizen Science Experience (Lifestyle) The mission of Crowd the Tap is to ensure safe drinking water in the United States. Make your home part of the national inventory of water pipe materials! The inventory will help prioritize areas for tap water testing and infrastructure replacement. Find more information on Crowd the Tap.

Test the Waters Kit Safety and Hygiene

Library kits like the Test the Waters Family Exploration Kit require appropriate maintenance and cleaning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, NNLM requires that all kit recipients commit to the disinfection and quarantine procedures included in Cornerstones of Science's thorough sanitation guide.

You will also receive a copy of the guide with your kit.

program guides and equipment for four different activities

How to Apply

To apply for the Test the Waters Family Exploration Kit:

  1. Become a member of NNLM (if your organization isn't already)
  2. Complete the application form

Contact Us

Questions? Let us help! Email the NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Center (CEC).

Test the Waters Family Exploration Kits Resources

Audio Files


About Cornerstones of Science

Cornerstones of Science has been working with public libraries for over 20 years to create science experiences that spark curiosity and foster a deeper understanding of the world around us. Cornerstones of Science partnered with the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) All of Us National Program and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to increase public involvement in scientific research as a way to reduce barriers between health research and the public. Learn more about Cornerstones of Science and what they have to offer.

Funding Statement

The Test the Waters Family Exploration Kits are made available with funds from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the NIH All of Us Research Program.

Learn about the All of Us Research Program .

All of Us