The National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) is seeking nine library sites to host the national tour of the interactive traveling exhibition Discover Exoplanets: the Search for Alien Worlds. Public libraries in rural areas and those serving rural populations and underrepresented groups are especially invited to apply.
Discover Exoplanets is made possible through NASA’s Universe of Learning. NASA’s Universe of Learning materials are based upon work supported by NASA under award number NNX16AC65A to the Space Telescope Science Institute, working in partnership with Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics|Harvard and Smithsonian, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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, and NASA’s Universe of Learning. STAR Net seeks to engage underserved youth and their families in fostering an appreciation and deeper understanding of science and technology topics through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs in public libraries, and library collaborations with scientists, engineers, and STEM organizations. NASA’s Universe of Learning draws from discoveries, scientific data, and subject matter experts from across NASA to create and disseminate STEM learning products, programs and professional development experiences that empower audiences to discover the universe for themselves. The Discover Exoplanets traveling exhibition includes an evaluation of informal STEM education in library and museum settings. Participation in this evaluation project is mandatory for selected sites, and may include site visits.
Discover Exoplanets will tour from June 2023 through late 2025. The sites selected will host the exhibitions for a period of approximately 14 weeks each (minus travel time). The exhibition requires 700 square feet of space for optimal display. Each host library will be asked to actively participate in a national professional learning community called the STAR Net Online Community.