Community Engagement

Bringing Space To Your Space


(Patrons attending a NASA James Webb Space Telescope Community event in Hudson, WI. Photo by Christopher Mick)   It all started in 2014, with an idea to put together a STEM presentation for a local school that my son was attending at the time. The thinking was I would combine several interesting  STEM experiences I had had as a kid growing up in Northern California. I had been lucky enough to attend the United States Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama ( during back to back Summers in the mid-eighties. My father was a retired pilot and gave me occasional flying lessons when [...]

Bringing Space To Your Space2023-05-31T15:12:23-06:00

The Launch of Artemis 1 for a New Generation


(image credit: Christopher Mick) By Christopher Mick There are are over 75 reporters crammed into the "bullpen" at the NASA Media Center on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center. This is the area where the press can plug in laptops, work on their stories and ask NASA Public Affairs Officers any technical questions they may have, and there are reporters here from all over the world. I overhear excited exchanges in German, Italian and Spanish as I walk to get a better view of one of the closed circuit monitors showing the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on pad 39-B [...]

The Launch of Artemis 1 for a New Generation2023-05-04T10:20:40-06:00

Findings from the Colorado Health Program Survey


April 22,2022 Written by Paul B. Dusenbery, Ph.D. Senior Educator Emeritus Space Science Institute Overview The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a seismic paradigm shift. It has changed how people socialize, communicate, work, eat, and care for one another. It revealed the need for an infrastructure at the ready to mobilize public health resources to respond to future unexpected health challenges. COVID-19 is not the first health crises we have seen that is wrought with misinformation and lack of effective educational outreach resources to help communities make appropriate science-based decisions. Examples include the Spanish Flu of 1918 and the AIDS [...]

Findings from the Colorado Health Program Survey2022-05-06T09:21:56-06:00

NASA GLOBE Clouds 2022 Challenge: Clouds in a Changing Climate


by Vivienne Byrd, Los Angeles Public Library, and Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, GLOBE Observer Team Start the new year with the NASA GLOBE 2022 Cloud Challenge! The challenge is January 15 - February 15, 2022. The GLOBE campaign website has several resources to support your program. How to get started Vivienne Byrd at the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) Neighborhood Science (NeiSci) program recommends doing the following to get started: For fun family activities: Make some clouds in a jar! Follow along with LAPL Librarian Basya Samuels and her little assistant in this Cloud in a Jar [...]

NASA GLOBE Clouds 2022 Challenge: Clouds in a Changing Climate2022-01-14T16:12:10-07:00

Building a science-focused reading challenge? Check out these great resources!


Reading challenges are a great way to engage patrons and encourage learners of all ages to read. Reading challenges vary from participating in a national summer reading challenge through the Collaborative Summer Library Program, utilizing reading challenge software like Beanstack or READSquared, or simply providing a list of books and activities to your patrons. To aid you in putting together any kind of reading challenge at your library, STAR Net has assembled a list of resources to help you integrate science readings and activities into your upcoming reading challenges! Check them out in the blog post below. Readings for Librarians Not [...]

Building a science-focused reading challenge? Check out these great resources!2021-12-07T16:37:15-07:00

Best Practices for Take & Make Activities


Tips & Tricks for Take & Makes to Compliment Virtual Programming By Atlas Logan, Gwinnett Public Library Many libraries have turned to Take & Make activity kits as a fun, engaging way to still meet community needs while keeping things safe during the pandemic. While fairly straightforward, there are still a few things to keep in mind when planning, preparing, and distributing Take & Make kits, especially if you are hoping to use them as a compliment to your virtual programming. When coming up with your programming and kits ideas, it helps to be familiar with the resources available for activity [...]

Best Practices for Take & Make Activities2021-11-23T16:41:19-07:00

Gratitude/Kindness Rocks: Where Science and Art Meet


By Donna Blomquist and Brittany Blomquist LaSalle Public Library Celebrate trees from April 15 to May 15, 2021 by joining the GLOBE citizen science community in the 2021 Community Trees Challenge: Science is Better Together! Connect science and art using the GLOBE Observer: Trees to extend popular rock painting into your library STEAM program. Rocks provide an endless canvas for creativity – here are a few ideas to get you started. One to two weeks before your program: Download the GLOBE Observer free mobile app ( Create an account with your email address. You will receive an email to confirm your [...]

Gratitude/Kindness Rocks: Where Science and Art Meet2021-03-23T11:43:46-06:00

New Community Dialogue Resources to Support Equity in Your Library


The STAR Net team has been hard at work gathering resources to support Community Dialogues (including virtual dialogues during COVID) from around the informal education world. Consider these resources a sneak peak of the new STAR Net Community Dialogue site that's coming soon. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our draft resources, and feel free to reach out to us with questions or comments! To access all the new resources, use the clickable PDF below to navigate. Follow the instructions, or head directly to the areas that are of interest to you! (Make sure you click into the image, to activate [...]

New Community Dialogue Resources to Support Equity in Your Library2021-01-27T16:16:27-07:00

Beyond S-T-E-A-M: Playing, Creating, and Exploring


Credit: Muhlenberg Community Library Some of us associate science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics ("STEAM") with FUN and MEANING for ourselves and our friends and family. We might imagine rockets blasting into space and the excitement of exploring the universe, or we might appreciate the chemicals in our sunscreen that keep us safe from UV. We might even realize how much STEAM is in our favorite hobbies, from the mathematics involved in sewing a garment, to the fertilizer we add to our prize tomatoes, or the family genetics that mean we hate broccoli as much as our brother. For others, [...]

Beyond S-T-E-A-M: Playing, Creating, and Exploring2020-08-10T14:03:03-06:00

Sounds of the Mountains Storytelling Festival, Dolly Parton, and More Available Online


Hey, everyone! I hope everyone is staying at home and healthy. I wanted to share some exciting news! Instead of canceling the Sounds of the Mountains Storytelling Festival this year, the organizers and storytellers have opted to offer it virtually, free, and forever!! In fact, I am listening to a great story as I write this blog! Please check it out. There is little in life that can beat a great storyteller. Dolly Parton has also joined the ranks of those offering activities for children during our time of shelter in place. She is reading stories on Thursday evenings for [...]

Sounds of the Mountains Storytelling Festival, Dolly Parton, and More Available Online2020-04-04T22:16:22-06:00
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