Natrona County Library is one of 75 U.S. public libraries selected to receive resources, training and support through NASA@ My Library, a STEM education initiative that will increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations currently underserved in STEM education. The libraries were selected through a competitive application process from a pool of more than 500 applicants.
Natrona County Library provided us this article from their newsletter on this exciting project:
By Jerry Jones
Youth Services Manager, Natrona County Library
The 2017 Eclipse is one example of how we strive to engage our community in unique ways. We have hosted educational programs on what happens during an eclipse, held crafty afternoons intended to stir up interest, and even planned our summer reading program around this once-in-a-lifetime event. And now, as one of 75 libraries nationwide selected to be a part of NASA@ My Library (a national earth and space science initiative that connects NASA, public libraries and their communities), we’ll continue to build on the excitement of being on that path of totality and to focus more of our programming on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) over the next 18 months.
The purpose of NASA@ My Library is to increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, particularly geographic areas and populations currently underserved in STEM education. We will soon receive two STEM Facilitation Kits that include tools and handson activities that emphasize subjects like Sun-Earth-Moon connections and expanding your senses. A telescope, pair of binoculars, microscope, green screen backdrop, infrared thermometer as well as robotics and coding toys and solar viewing glasses are a few of the items expected to be included.
Partners are also encouraged to collaborate with subject matter experts from NASA-related organizations such as their Solar System Ambassador Program and Science-Technology Activities and Resources Library Education Network—the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning that provides interactive STEM exhibits, programming, and training to public libraries. We’re excited to be hosting two such programs on August 14, featuring astronomer Kevin Manning, a former NASA consultant. The Universe at your Fingertips will take place at our Tween Monday program at 2 p.m. and The Universe and An All American Total Solar Eclipse for adults and families will start at 7 p.m.
The Eclipse has definitely generated a heightened interest in space and science here in our community, and we are looking forward to this opportunity that we have been given to reach for the stars and take it to the next level.
The NASA@ My Library project is led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. Partners include the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, Pacific Science Center, Cornerstones of Science, and Education Development Center. NASA@ My Library is made possible through the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate as part of its STEM Activation program.