Project Overview

With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL/SSI), the American Library Association (ALA), Twin Cities PBS (TPT), Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) and Education Development Center (EDC) welcomed the staff from 12 rural libraries and their community collaborators to the STAR Net STEAM Equity Project.

Our vision is for participating rural communities to:

  • Empower tweens and their families around equitable STEAM learning and career paths by leveraging their existing strengths, interests, and diverse cultures.

With the support of the project team, participating public library workers have:

  • Collaborated and co-created gender-equitable STEAM exploration pathways with community leaders (especially those serving Latinx populations) and youth.
  • Actively encouraged tweens and their families to engage and persist in STEAM explorations in the library and beyond.
  • Grown in their ability to work with community collaborators to initiate and sustain STEAM learning opportunities for female and Latinx populations.

Together, participating library partners and project leadership have:

  • Learned how library workers can more effectively support tween interest and persistence in STEAM learning in their rural communities.

Conference Overview

The STEAM Equity Conference was designed to share what participating libraries are discovering about STEAM learning and community collaboration with library workers, educators, and those in STEAM-related professions.

This conference was presented by:

  • Space Science Institute (PI Institution)
  • American Library Association (PI Institution)
  • Arizona Science Center
  • Berryville Public Library
  • Blue Island Public Library
  • Burley Public Library
  • Chicago Public Library
  • Education Development Center
  • Florence Community Library
  • Hondo Public Library
  • Institute for Learning Innovation
  • Los Lunas Public Library
  • Madera County Library
  • Montrose Library
  • Angel Public Library
  • North Central Regional Library
  • Palm Springs Public Library
  • Purcell Public Library
  • Safford City-Graham County Library
  • Twin Cities PBS/SciGirls
  • West Orange Public Library

Presenter Content

Day 1: October 23, 2023

Room 1

Anne Holland (SSI):
Welcome and Logistics

Jackie Mills (Mt.Angel Public Library):
The Nuts and Bolts of Effective Collaboration and Networking

Amanda Judd and Yvette Herrera (Chowchilla/Madera Library):
The Community and You: Utilizing the library for community engagement

Rebekah Lynam and Karen Fielder (Purcell Public Library):
Exploration Spaces beyond STEAM

Isabel Castro (Advisor):
Making the Connection with Schools

Tiffany Y. Rondón Román and Baira Soto Toledo (Calle Méndez Vigo #331 Puerto Rico):
Achieving social change: the power of a community library in Puerto Rico

Lesley Talley and Araceli Moreno (Safford):
Designing STEAM exploration spaces to inspire curiosity and creativity

Kal Mannis (Arizona Science Center):
The Changing Role of Libraries in the Ecosystem of STEM Learners

Room 2

Claire Ratcliffe Adams (SSI):
Ice Breaker Bonanza

Ginger Fitzhugh and Jen Jocz (EDC):
Don’t judge a program by its cover: The when, why, and how of evaluation in libraries

Tina Meiners, Amy Dickinson, Alondra Ramierez (Montrose Public Library):
Circulating Kits-Thinking Outside the Box While Making It Fit Inside the Box

Brian Russell and Meghan Gieseker, ALA’s Public Programs Office (ALA):
Programming 101: ALA Resources, Grant Writing Tips, and Funding Opportunities for Libraries

Day 2: October 24, 2023

Room 1

Aldo Vasquez (Advisor):
Beyond the Library Walls: Connecting with Underserved Communities Through Outreach

Anne Holland (SSI):
Anne EDGE: Exhibit and Program Development for Girls (and everyone else’s!) Engagement

Niki Beverly (SciGirls):
How to Use Role Models in Your Libraries

Debbie Siegel, Nicole Claudio, and Brooks Mitchell (ILI and SSI):
Community Asset Mapping Strategies to Support STEAM Learning

Kelly Ramirez and Julie Hall (Berryville Public Library):
Thinking Outside the Library: Taking the Library to Where the People Are

Brian Moreno (Blue Island Public Library):
Take Home STEAM Activities

Niki Beverly (SciGirls):
SciGirls Strategies

Room 2

Alternate funding resources

Elsie Purcell (Hondo Public Library):
Group Dynamics: Adapting activities to fit different Age groups