ALA announces “Discover Tech,” an interactive traveling exhibition opportunity for public libraries

For Immediate Release
Mon, 03/05/2012

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CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in partnership with the National Center for Interactive Learning at Space Science Institute, the Lunar Planetary Institute and the National Girls Collaborative Project, announces a new traveling exhibition opportunity for public libraries. Following a competitive application process, eight public libraries will be selected to host an interactive exhibition called Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference. Public libraries in rural areas and those serving rural populations and underserved groups are especially invited to apply. Online applications must be submitted to ALA by May 1. To apply, visit www.ala.org/programming/discovertech.

Discover Tech is made possible through the support of the National Science Foundation. The exhibition and its educational support materials and outreach opportunities are part of the STAR (Science-Technology Activities and Resources) Library Education Network (STAR_Net), a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities.

Discover Tech will tour from September 2012 to June 2014, visiting each of the eight selected sites for a period of eight weeks. The exhibition requires approximately 750 square feet of space for optimal display. Each site will be awarded a grant of $1,000 to support public programs related to the exhibition. Each host library will also be asked to join a national Community of Practice (CoP), accessible at http://community.discoverexhibits.org, and is expected to take part in project evaluation. For more information about Discover Tech, STAR_Net and the CoP, visit www.ala.org/programming/discovertech.     

The Discover Tech exhibition will focus on a number of timely topics that are essential for understanding the nature of 21st  century technology and engineering—both high and low tech— and their potential for helping to solve many of the world’s problems. Through interactive elements and displays, visitors to the Discover Tech traveling exhibition will understand that engineers are real people who, through a creative and collaborative design process, arrive at practical solutions to help solve society’s problems in the U.S. and throughout the world. Exhibit visitors will also learn about the fundamental principles of energy, become aware of their own energy use, and understand the impact of engineering on societies over time and place.

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, LIVE! @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed www.ProgrammingLibrarian.org, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit www.ala.org/publicprograms.

The National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute is dedicated to developing and implementing world-class projects and programs that improve formal and informal STEM education and the evaluation/research foundation on which they are based. For more information about the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute, visit www.spacescience.org.

The Lunar and Planetary Institute is a research institute that provides support services to NASA and the planetary science community, and conducts planetary science research under the leadership of staff scientists, visiting researchers, and postdoctoral fellows. For more information about the Lunar and Planetary Institute, visit www.lpi.usra.edu.

The vision of the National Girls Collaborative Project is to bring together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). For more information about the National Girls Collaborative Project, visit www.ngcproject.org.