Forty-two public libraries selected to host Explore Earth, Explore Space and Explore Tech traveling exhibitions
For Immediate Release
ALA Public Programs Office
CHICAGO — Forty-two public libraries from across the country will host science- and technology-focused traveling exhibitions, bringing learning about the stars and planets, earth science and climate change and technology to audiences of all ages.
The exhibitions — Explore Earth: Our Changing Planet; Explore Space: Our Solar System and Beyond; and Explore Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference — are offered by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office in collaboration with the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL), the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Afterschool Alliance. NCIL is the lead organization for this project.
Each 200-square-foot exhibition will travel to 14 sites between April 2016 and September 2018. View a list of host libraries.
- Explore Earth: Our Changing Planet will focus on local earth science topics — such as weather, the water cycle and ecosystem changes — as well as a global view of our changing planet. The primary message of the exhibition is that the global environment changes — and is changed by — the local environment of all host communities.
- Explore Space: Our Solar System and Beyond helps visitors answer the age-old questions: Where did we come from, and are we alone? The exhibition will teach audiences about our universe, including how stars and planetary systems form and the role that gravity plays in our universe.
- Explore Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference shows how engineering provides solutions to better meet human needs and develops sustainable innovations for the future. It features hands-on and multimedia components that allow exhibit visitors to interact with content in a dynamic way, encouraging new perspectives about engineers and their vital work.
Grantees for all three exhibitions will host the exhibit for an eight-week display period. They will also receive a $1,000 programming grant; online professional development; educational and promotional support and access to the STAR_Net Online Community and a national network of STEM-oriented organizations.
The Explore exhibitions are 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 developed by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. For more information, visit www.STARnetLibraries.org.
About ALA’s Public Programs Office
ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives.
About the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI)
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. NCIL is a national leader in developing STEM exhibitions for science centers, museums and public libraries as well as educational games and apps that can be deployed on websites, mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets) and multi-touch tables. For more information about the NCIL, visit www.nc4il.org.
About the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)
Through its Explore program and in partnership with the STAR_Net team, the Lunar and Planetary Institute has worked with librarians, state libraries and library associations for over 15 years to develop hands-on activities and train library professionals to use them in their programs. For more information about the Lunar and Planetary Institute, visit www.lpi.usra.edu/explore.
About the Afterschool Alliance
The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness, research and advocacy organization that works to ensure all children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs. The Afterschool Alliance is playing a major role in advancing afterschool STEM education opportunities for young people across the country. For more information, visit www.afterschoolalliance.org/STEM.