Public libraries are invited to apply for 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 project is offered by the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in partnership with the ALA Public Programs Office, the Pacific Science Center, Cornerstones of Science, and the Education Development Center. Support comes from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
Seventy-five U.S. public libraries will be selected through a competitive application process to become NASA@ My Library Partners and participate in the 18-month project (Phase 1), with the opportunity to extend for an additional two-year period (Phase 2).
Applications will be accepted from Feb. 1 to March 22, 2017. To view the project guidelines and apply online, visit https://apply.ala.org/nasalibraries. ALA members and nonmembers are encouraged to apply; membership status will have no impact on your application.
As part of Phase 1 (May 2017 to Oct. 2018), selected NASA@ My Library Partners will receive:
* Two NASA STEM Facilitation Kits (total value: $750) designed for use in hands-on STEM programming facilitated by library staff or outside groups, such as NASA subject matter experts. The kits will include STEM tools and hands-on activities based on the following themes: “Sun-Earth-Moon Connections” and “Expanding Your Senses.” The kits’ contents are being finalized based on feedback from three NASA@ My Library pilot libraries; sample contents may include a telescope, binoculars, a microscope, a “green screen” backdrop, robotics and coding activity sets, and more.
* A tablet computer, pre-loaded with how-to videos, apps, educational games and visualizations relevant to the kit materials.
* A $500 programming stipend
* Participation for one library staff member in a required two-day orientation workshop in Denver in February/March 2018
* An $800 stipend for travel costs for the orientation workshop
* Promotion to NASA subject matter expert networks for potential program partnerships
* Training webinars about using the NASA STEM Facilitation Kit materials in programming
* Ongoing networking opportunities with participating libraries
NASA@ My Library Partners that participate in Phase 2 (November 2018 to December 2020) will receive:
* NASA STEM backpacks designed for circulation (total value: $200)
* Two additional NASA STEM Facilitation Kits (total value: $750)
* An additional $500 programming stipend
Participating libraries will be required to hold at least three public programs per year that utilize the NASA STEM Facilitation Kits, NASA educational resources and/or NASA subject matter experts. The programs should target a variety of age groups, and at least one program per year must be a publicized, high-profile event. Grantees will also be asked to host a community dialogue event to discuss STEM learning needs of their community. View the full project guidelines.
African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, women, persons with disabilities, and persons with low socio-economic status are underrepresented in various fields of science and engineering across all levels — from K-12 to long-term workforce participation. Public libraries serving rural and geographically isolated communities, as well as those conducting outreach to other groups underrepresented in STEM fields, are especially encouraged to apply.
The educational support materials and outreach opportunities provided are part of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net), a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities.
To learn more about NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD), NASA@ My Library and 26 other cooperative agreements SMD selected via a national competition to engage the public in space and earth science, visit https://science.nasa.gov/learners.