Celebrate Water at Your Library this Earth Science Week and Beyond!


Earth Science Week (October 10th-16th, 2021) is upon us, and this year communities have the chance to celebrate Earth's most precious resource with the theme, "Water Today and for the Future." Libraries are great places for communities to explore this important topic now and in advance of the 2022 CSLP summer reading theme, “Oceans of Possibilities.” We hope that this blog can provide some resources and strategies for you! The STAR Library Network has recently partnered with several outstanding organizations on We Are Water, a project that works with libraries throughout the Four Corners region to explore and share stories about water within [...]

Celebrate Water at Your Library this Earth Science Week and Beyond!2021-10-11T12:09:56-06:00

Planning a JWST Launch Event? Check out the Look Up! Explore Our Universe STEAM Activity Toolkit!


The James Webb Space Telescope is launching in just a matter of weeks, on December 18, 2021. This launch is a great opportunity for you to engage your patrons with an exciting new NASA science mission! To help you put together programming for this once-in-a-event, has put together a digital STEAM Activity Toolkit as part of the NASA@ My Library Look Up! Explore Our Universe campaign containing five ready-to-deploy hands-on activities related to the science behind NASA’s new space telescope mission. Each activity has been selected to be low-cost, adaptable, and fun for you and your patrons! This digital toolkit includes [...]

Planning a JWST Launch Event? Check out the Look Up! Explore Our Universe STEAM Activity Toolkit!2021-10-04T16:36:09-06:00

“From Our Town to The Moon, Mars, and Beyond” Exhibit Opportunity Announcement  


The Space Science Institute is pleased to announce a new exhibit opportunity for public libraries. 'From Our Town to the Moon, Mars and Beyond' will launch in March 2022, traveling to 8 libraries across the country. All public and tribal libraries are welcome to apply. The application will open on September 15th, and will close November 15th  The exhibit, kits, and activities will focus on the path towards a permanent presence on the Moon, the International Space Station as the micro-gravity laboratory, and current and future missions to Mars. Exhibit themes include the differences and similarities between Earth, the Moon, and Mars, how we're getting [...]

“From Our Town to The Moon, Mars, and Beyond” Exhibit Opportunity Announcement  2021-09-15T12:28:29-06:00

The Joy in Learning


written by Terri McDougal, Head of Children’s Services at Kanawha County Public Library in Charleston, West Virginia   “It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” -Leo F. Buscaglia   It has been a difficult year for so many people.  In my library system, the Kanawha County Public Library in West Virginia, we have not yet resumed in-person programming.  Many families are still not visiting our libraries because while adults are vaccinated against COIVD-19, children under the age of 12 are not.  We have seen many [...]

The Joy in Learning2021-06-16T13:30:57-06:00

Lessons Learned from a Pandemic


written by Terri McDougal, Head of Children's Services at Kanawha County Public Library in Charleston, West Virginia   As was the case around the country, the COVID-19 global pandemic struck hard in West Virginia.  Not necessarily in the number of cases or number of lives lost, in comparison to other areas of the United States, but in terms of other factors.  These include the closing of schools, churches, businesses, and yes, public libraries.  The economic devastation in a state that was already struggling is staggering.  Add in other factors such as the ongoing opioid crisis, the loss of population as people move [...]

Lessons Learned from a Pandemic2021-06-04T13:49:48-06:00

Citizen Science Spotlight – Cicadas!


It would be a shame if we didn't talk about cicadas right now. Everyone is talking about cicada brood x right now. It wouldn't be right not to feature citizen science opportunities about our emerging friends. Brood X is one of the biggest and most widespread, but will not be seen by everyone, but don't worry - there's probably a brood coming your way soon enough. If you live in an area that cicadas don't visit, it's still a chance to educate your community on what's happening in another area of the country that they might not experience firsthand. Cicadas hatch [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – Cicadas!2021-05-29T21:12:51-06:00

Landers and Landers and Egg Drops, Oh My!


Some of you may have heard in the news recently that NASA named SpaceX as the winner of its recent lunar lander design solicitation for returning astronauts to the surface of the Moon in the next few years. The three finalists consisted of Dynetics, SpaceX and the Blue Origin led National Team. The designs were all very distinct from each other and addressed the challenges of landing astronauts on the surface of the Moon and returning them to lunar orbit in very different ways. You can see the designs here https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/C6hNa8ZCvwowU4rVmhUAcj-1024-80.jpg.webp The SpaceX design represents a single-stage lander that will be [...]

Landers and Landers and Egg Drops, Oh My!2021-05-29T20:55:37-06:00

Citizen Science Spotlight – Pollinators!


Pollinating insects are the superstars of the insect world. Everyone wants to save the bees and butterflies. They should, too. Pollinating insects are incredibly important to our livelihood and our environment. More people are starting backyard beehives, or raise and release butterfly kits as the popularity of pollinators grows. Pollen has plant specific shapes and sizes, and a single bee will specialize in a few particular plant species. Approximately one out of three bites of food or beverages we consume is a direct cause of pollination. Without pollinators, we would not only lose a significant amount of food diversity and security, but [...]

Citizen Science Spotlight – Pollinators!2021-05-29T19:15:43-06:00

Artist and Astronaut


As we start the Memorial Day weekend , I was thinking back to an interview I had with the late Alan Bean (March 15, 1932 - May 26, 2018). Alan was a naval officer, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, NASA astronaut and a fine artist. Alan became the fourth person to walk on the Moon on in 1969 with Apollo 12 and spent fifty-nine days in space (at the time a record) on the Skylab 3 mission in 1973. Alan stayed on at NASA training for flying the Space Shuttle, but Alan left NASA shortly before that program became operational. Alan left [...]

Artist and Astronaut2021-05-29T17:34:19-06:00

What Is An Analog Astronaut?


Have you heard of the term "analog astronaut" before?  It's a special term for someone simulating a deep space mission here on Earth. They are people just like you and me, or they might be a specialist in a particular area. Analog astronauts simulate long-duration space missions, in geographically similar areas to the real missions  that are being planned for future Moon and Mars crewed explorations. A crewed mission to Mars for example, would involve astronauts being away from Earth for two-plus years. Mission planners need to know answers to the questions of, what is the optimal number of crew members? [...]

What Is An Analog Astronaut?2021-05-28T19:54:09-06:00
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