STAR Net is NCIL’s flagship STEM program serving the public library community. It began in 2009 and now numbers over 8,000 members. The community can access webinars, monthly newsletters, blogs, STEAM events, collaboration opportunities, facilitation guides, book recommendations, STAR Net’s STEM Activity Clearinghouse, and more. It also has an active social media presence including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.
STAR Net team members regularly attend both library conferences (e.g., American Library Association’s Annual Meeting) and STEM conferences (e.g., American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting). STAR Net projects all have robust evaluation components, and many include educational research to help public libraries use data-based practices to develop and implement effective STEAM programs for their communities.
The Clearinghouse is a one-stop shop for free STEM activities designed specifically for the library setting, based on librarian demand and feedback. Thanks in large part to STAR Net’s recent Summer of Space event in 2019, hundreds of STEM activities from NASA and other vetted sources were uploaded to the Clearinghouse, bringing the total number of activities to over 500.