STAR_Net Discover Exhibitions

STAR_NET: Science-Technology Activities & Resources for Libraries

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Afterschool Alliance, presents three science- and technology-focused traveling exhibitions to be hosted by public libraries. The interactive exhibitions are designed to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning opportunities for all ages. The exhibits and tours are made possible through the support of the National Science Foundation.

Each exhibition will travel to eight sites between 2015 and 2018.  Hosting institutions applied for one of three interactive, 800 square-foot STEM exhibits:

All grantees will receive:

  • one exhibition for a 12-week display period; shipping is free for grantees;
  • a cash grant of $1,000 to cover the cost of public programming related to the exhibition;
  • a Discover teacher guide, family guide and hands-on activities for different age groups to help libraries develop programs and support classroom visits;
  • a two-day, in-person orientation for two exhibition coordinators per site;
  • periodic webinars on timely STEM topics to support programming in libraries;
  • promotional materials to aid in local outreach; and
  • access to the STAR_Net Online Community and a national network of STEM-oriented organizations.

Grantees will be required to plan public programs related to the exhibition and to participate in the STAR_Net Online Community throughout the exhibition period.

Slides and discussion from a STARNet-Discover pre-application webinar held on February 19th, 2015, may be found here:

Full guidelines and exhibit information are available at The application deadline was April 7, 2015.


Discover Earth: Our Changing Planet

Discover Earth focuses on local earth science topics - such as weather, water cycle and ecosystem changes - as well as a global view of our changing planet.  Visitors will learn how the global environment changes - and is changed by - the local environment of all exhibition hosts' communities.  

The Discover Earth exhibition will travel to the following libraries between October 2015 and September 2017:

Rolling Hills Consolidated Library, St. Joseph, Mo.
October 7, 2015 – January 22, 2016

Blount County Public Library, Maryville, Tenn.
February 3, 2016 – April 29, 2016

Boone County Public Library, Burlington, Ky.
May 11, 2016 – August 5, 2016

Bertha Voyer Memorial Library, Honey Grove, Texas
August 17, 2016 – November 11, 2016

Marion Public Library, Marion, Ind.
November 30, 2016 – March 10, 2017

Grand Forks Public Library, Grand Forks, N.D.
March 22, 2017 – June 16, 2017

Salt Lake County Library Services, West Jordan, Utah
June 28, 2017 – September 22, 2017

Mountain Home Public Library, Mountain Home, Idaho
October 4, 2017 – January 19, 2018


Discover Space: A Cosmic Journey

Discover Space teaches audiences how stars and planetary systems form and the role that gravity plays in our universe.  Visitors will learn the similarities and differences between Earth and Mars and be introduced to the tools scientists use to explore planets.  The exhibit will examine asteroids and comets, look at the sun as a dynamic star, and reveal electric and magnetic changes that occur in space. 

The Discover Space exhibition will travel to the following libraries between April 2016 and July 2018:

Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, Ill.
April 13, 2016 – July 8, 2016

Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
July 20, 2016 – October 14, 2016

Braswell Memorial Library, Rocky Mount, N.C.
October 26, 2016 – February 10, 2017

Pease Public Library, Plymouth, N.H.
February 22, 2017 – May 19, 2017

Frederick County Public Libraries, Frederick, Md.
May 31, 2017 – August 25, 2017

Yuma County Library District, Yuma, Ariz.
September 6, 2017 – December 8, 2017


Laramie County Library System, Cheyenne, Wyo.
December 20, 2017 – March 30, 2018

Perry Public Library, Perry, Iowa
April 11, 2018 – July 31, 2018

Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference

Discover Tech helps audiences understand 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 displays, the exhibition will illustrate that engineers are real people who, through a creative and collaborative design process, arrive at practical solutions to help solve society's problems.

The Discover Tech exhibition will travel to the following libraries between January 2016 and April 2018: 

Ypsilanti District Library, Ypsilanti, Mich.
January 6, 2016 – April 1, 2016

Mansfield/Richland County Public Library, Mansfield, Ohio
April 13, 2016 – July 8, 2016

Waynesboro Public Library, Waynesboro, Va.
July 20, 2016 – October 14, 2016

Madison County Library, Danielsville,  Ga.
October 26, 2016 – February 10, 2017

Kokomo-Howard County Public Library, Kokomo, Ind.
February 22, 2017 – May 19, 2017

Pueblo City-County Library District, Pueblo, Colo.
May 31, 2017 – August 25, 2017

Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.
September 6, 2017 – December 8, 2017

Juneau Public Libraries, Juneau, Alaska
January 10, 2018 – April 6, 2018