STEM Kit Program Guide for State Librarians Supports Interest in Reaching Diverse Learners to Engage with NASA Science and Engineering
The purpose of this Guide is to support State Library Agency (SLA) efforts to engage their public libraries in successful and effective programming in STEM. The Guide may be used to promote access to NASA science discoveries and provide learning experiences to people of diverse backgrounds. The Guide is the result of a two-year process of working with 18 State Library Agencies. Public libraries (which the SLAs supported with resources and training) had hundreds of programs and impacted over 16,000 learners. As a result of working with these libraries, and with the help of the SLAs, we created the STEM Activity Guide in 2020. Three SLAs presented their perspective about the program and the Guide at a webinar in February 2021 that was hosted by the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) to disseminate the Guide. We will continue to work with SLAs in 2021/2022 through our SLA Advisory Panel, led by Co-I Christine Shupla.
A substantial portion (45%) of libraries receiving a Kit were located in rural communities. The majority of programs (>70%) were attended by elementary-aged youth, while more than half (57%) were attended by Pre-K youth. Families attended 68% of programs together.
“It was great! It was nice having someone else do all the program planning. As for the activities I just had to get it out of the box, study, set up, explain and help the youth, and then clean up (which was minimal). I did not have to take hours of planning and collecting. Thank you!” ~Public library staff