STAR_Net was in full force at the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference (June 22-27), promoting #STEMinLib and #Eclipse2017, presenting conference sessions on STEM partnerships and daytime astronomy, and joining NASA for Hyperwall talks. (What is a Hyperwall, you ask? More on that later!)

Did you attend one of our presentations or stop by the booth? If so, leave a comment and let us know what you thought. If you were unable to attend, we’ve got you covered with resources and other helpful information!

Daytime Astronomy at Your Library

A participant of the Daytime Astronomy session displays their Eclipse Chalk Art

A participant of the Daytime Astronomy session displays their Eclipse Chalk Art

Saturday, June 24th

In this hands-on session, STAR_Net team members Paul Dusenbery, Keliann LaConte, Anne Holland, and Brooks Mitchell facilitated fun, hands-on activities that can be used before, during, and after the Great American Eclipse. Scientific information on the eclipse and solar features, as well as important safety information, was also presented.

The activities that were presented, including Sun Cookies, Solar Pizza, Eclipse Chalk Art, and Pinhole Projectors, can be found on our STEM Activity Clearinghouse.

The slides for that presentation can be found here. Our session was so out of this world that we even made it into Cognotes – check out page 20!

High-impact STEM Events to Foster Collaboration

Sunday, June 25th

High Impact Stations

Learning more about the NASA Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk program!

Elizabeth Hanson-McChesney, Director of Children’s Services and Family Engagement at Chicago Public Library System (CPL), and Bryan Wunar, Director of Community Initiatives for Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), joined STAR_Net to talk about a successful collaboration between their organizations that led to a long-term partnership. Participants then traveled from station to station, learning about different NASA, Earth, and celestial events and resources with high enough visibility to attract the attention of the broader local community and bring resources together for a common purpose.

Elizabeth McChesney and Bryan Wunar blasted this session off with Stomp Rockets!

Elizabeth McChesney and Bryan Wunar took our High-impact STEM Events session to new heights with Stomp Rockets!

These events and resources included International Observe the Moon Night, Earth Day, Scientist Connection Webinars, and Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program. Thanks to Brian Day, Suzanne FoxworthTheresa Schwerin, and Kimberly Willis for sharing your free resources!

The slides for that presentation can be found here, and check out the Cognotes feature on page 8!


NASA Booth

STAR_Net joined colleagues at the NASA Booth to promote the Eclipse Resource Center, STEM Activity Clearinghouse, Webinars, and a host of other STAR_Net resources. We also talked about Solar Vision, our newest interactive on SciGames that lets you look at solar features in real time! If you’re looking for downloadable copies of one of the handouts you received from us and can’t find it on the website, email

Hyperwall Presentations

One highlight of the conference was being able to present in front of the NASA Hyperwall, a “video wall capable of displaying multiple high-definition data visualizations and/or images simultaneously across an arrangement of screens.” Check out NASA on flickr for pictures of past and upcoming Hyperwall presentations to see it in action – it is certainly a sight to behold!

Dr. Dusenbery shows the path of the 2017 Eclipse on NASA's Hyperwall

Dr. Dusenbery shows the path of the 2017 Eclipse on NASA’s Hyperwall

STAR_Net presented three sessions in front of this technical marvel, including “2017 Solar Eclipse: Science and Resources”, “Libraries Participate in the Solar Eclipse” (with Jude Schanzer of East Meadow Public Library), and “Hands-on Activity: Strange New Planet”.

Check out our Facebook Live broadcasts (Libraries Participate in the Solar Eclipse and Strange New Planet)  of our two Hyperwall sessions and, while you’re at it, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates and pictures!

Thank you all for a fun and successful 2017 ALA conference. We hope to see you next year!