One of our goals for the year is to host career readiness programming for teens but how do we make that sound exciting to a 14 year old? Our first career readiness program was called beauty science and teens created popular beauty items and we discussed the science and careers associated with it.
Will boys come to this? Yes!
We weren’t sure if teens took baths but on social media, bath bombs are not about relaxation; it’s about taking a video of a cool fizzing sphere. We don’t care what they do with them. As a matter of fact, we asked them to tag us in their videos.
Budget: $60/50 teens; 3 small bombs/teen
- Citric acid
- Corn starch
- Baking soda
- Epsom Salt
- Food dye
- Essential oils
- Molds (small)
- Measuring spoons
- Mixing spoons
- Plastic wrap
- Goody bag
- Spray bottles of water
- Out of 20 participants, 4 were boys
- Twisting the molds together seemed to work better
- Sometimes the molds don’t work. If this happens, dump out the mix, add a couple of sprays of water, and mix again.
- Let the bombs sit out unwrapped while teens make their other molds. Then wrap them. They seem to hold better when they dry out for a while.
- If you want to turn this into a long program, 1.5 hours, allow teens to experiment with colors (galaxy, unicorn, black). Teens can also put toys inside the bomb. They can do themes (Hogwarts sorting, etc). You can have teens create their own company and give their bombs names and they can design a logo on a sticker or tag.
- Here’s the PDF of the instructions- bath bombs.
DIY Lip Balm
Teens find this to be the most fascinating because they can’t believe it’s so easy to make something they buy in the store.
Budget: $55/50 teens
- Pure shea butter or petroleum jelly
- Essential Oils (Any scent)
- Counter top burner or microwave
- Fine tip Sharpie
Disclaimer-We used a counter top burner but you can use the double boiler method.
If you have a microwave in your room, this is ideal but if you don’t, you can boil a bowl of water and place a metal or glass bowl over the bowl with hot water. You need to be able to melt the wax.
We did this program as a drop in so only four teens could do it at a time. The following batch was enough for six teens.
- Have the group decide what color they want their lip balm to be. Give them that color crayon. The crayon will not leave a pigment on the lip; it just creates color for the balm.
- Have one teen pour a 1/4 cup of beeswax into a glass or metal bowl. Pass the bowl.
- Have the next teen put a table spoon of shea butter or petroleum jelly into the bowl
- Have the next teen break crayons into the bowl and add a couple of drops of essential oil.
- Melting time:
- If you are doing this as a drop in, the staff can stand at the front of the table with the double boiler and allow one teen to stir the ingredients until melted.
- If you are doing a group of teens, you can pre-boil water and place it on a table cloth in the middle of each table of teens. Have one teen put the bowl with ingredients on top of the boiling water and the teens can take turns mixing. Just be sure to remind them A LOT that that bowls are hot and to not touch them with out an oven mitt.
- We transferred the melted ingredients into a Pyrex measuring glass for easy pouring.
- I’d recommend a staff member to the pouring.
- Have teens place a funnel in their tubes and pour the ingredients.
- Have teens set their tubes in the middle to dry.
- While it is drying, teens can clean up and write their name or the type of lip balm on the label that comes with the tubes.
- This program is very quick and only took about 10 minutes. To provide a longer program, you can have teens make several different types of beauty products.
- You could create a career readiness program and have teen create a beauty company and a logo. You can have teens work in groups and “pitch” their product to the group.
- You could use the M in STEAM and have teens make their lip balm company into a business. They could figure out profit/cost. You could teach Google Slides or Power Point and have teens create their presentation on slides to present to the group.
- Out of 17 teens, none were boys. Boys were not interested in making lip balm even though they use it. I tried to encourage them to make it by telling them to give it to their mom or girlfriend-nothing worked.
- The tubes are professional looking but they aren’t cute. I prefer these containers because you can add glitter and you can actually see the lip balm. It’s also cheaper.
DIY Sugar Body Scrub
Budget: $45/16 teens-depending on the supplies you already have
- Containers Baby Jars (Ask for donations to save costs)
- Coconut oil (You can use olive oil to save costs)
- Essential Oils
- Soap dye
- Important: The mixture should be 75% sugar and 25% oil. This is important depending on your container size.
- Mix sugar and oil in a bowl or the container if the opening is big enough.
- Add a couple of drops of essential oil.
- Add dye until you get the desired color.
- This project only takes about 10 minutes. If you want to stretch this to a longer program:
- Teens can make labels.
- You can provide a plethora of oils, extracts, fruit zests, body glitter, etc for teens to make their own recipe.
- Teens can make several scrubs for holiday gifts.
- Out of 27 teens, 8 boys participated. For some reason, boys wanted to make body scrub to give away to their mothers.
Our makerspace does daily drop in programs for the after school crowd and a longer traditional program for teens who come to the library specifically for the program. We did these three projects over a course of three days in a week.
As you can see, these activities were very popular among our teens by the attendance we received. I think beauty science is similar to slime because they mixed different ingredients and made one cool thing. They are so proud of themselves for making something and we ask if they use the items they make in the programs and they do!
To make a long story short, we will be hosting beauty science again.