Spotlight on Government Information: Back to School



Smiling schoolchildren in classroom holding notebooks and backpacksIn August and September, millions of Americans return to classrooms signaling the end of summer. Students, parents, teachers, and life-long learners, in their quest for knowledge, will find a variety of back to school resources from numerous federal government agencies.

Approximately 49 million students attend pre-K through grade 12 public schools across the United States. An additional 9 million students are enrolled in public charter schools, private schools, and homeschools as parents search for alternative learning environments. Efforts by the Office of Overseas Schools and the Bureau of Indian Education ensure quality educational programs and student achievement for American citizens living abroad and for tribal nations, respectively.

Adults pursuing higher education opportunities can compare colleges and universities based on location, cost, and programs of study. Undergraduate and graduate students need to submit a FAFSA to determine if they qualify for student aid. Military veterans and eligible family members have access to benefits through the GI Bill and tuition assistance.

From math to science and from history to the arts, the following agencies and others manage content that will expand everyone’s understanding of the world through engaging contests, projects, and lessons.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, and the USGS focus on STEM topics such as minerals, solar flares, aquatic systems, air pressure, and natural hazards.

Explore facets of the federal government through historical documents and games on Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government. Bring history alive by accessing photographs, interviews, and recipes from the Library of Congress. Consider making one of the ice cream soda recipes featured on Minerva’s Kaleidoscope as a fun, end of summer activity.

The National Park Service’s Materials for Loan program allows educators to borrow traveling trunks for classroom use. Themes include Victorian toys, fossils, architecture, and more. The National Gallery of Art also loans materials that teach the connection between art, science, math, and history. Discover artistic works and styles spanning the 7th century to the 20th century and representing cultures around the globe.

The sites mentioned represent a small number of the educational resources available from the federal government. For additional information, please contact the Wyoming State Library at 307-777-6333 or statelibrary@wyo.gov.

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