STAR Net News - February 2018
STAR Net News - February 2018
February 7, 2018
Celebrate Engineers Week: February 18-24
From the sidewalks that we walk on to the buildings that we work in, engineering is all around us. Your library will have a chance to learn about the importance of engineering and bring it to life for kids, educators, and parents in a week-long celebration known as Engineers Week.
This year, STAR Net is providing a variety of resources and activities that revolve around one of engineering’s most popular disciplines, civil engineering.
Win FREE Earth Day Stuff!
Don't miss your opportunity to win some cool educational and promotional Earth Day items for your library. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages next week for a special announcement to enter and win!
Latino Participation in Informal
STEM Learning Environments
The GENIAL (Generating Engagement and New Initiatives for All Latinos) Summit, funded by the NSF, was held June 5–6, 2017, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA. It focused on increasing Latino participation in Informal STEM Learning (ISL) environments (like public libraries) by assessing what we currently know and began to identify new areas to consider in the future. Ninety-one practitioners, community leaders, media specialists, and researchers from across the United States and Puerto Rico participated. Learn more about the Summit and its resources by registering for one of the upcoming webinars below:

CAISE Webinar: Feb 27, 2018, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. PST/2:30-4:00 p.m. EST
Register Today!

ASTC Webinar: April 25, 2018, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. PST/2:00-3:30 p.m. EST
Register Today!

Each interactive webinar will include a brief overview of the GENIAL Summit proceedings, recommendations, and actionable insights. Webinar participants will have a chance to interact with each other, project organizers, and advisors in a lively conversation about how the GENIAL results can influence their work with Latinos and other diverse audiences. We will also explore how the GENIAL results can move the ISL field forward. We'll intersperse the session with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

You can access the resulting GENIAL publications before the webinar at:

Check out the article on STAR Net’s STEM in Libraries/Diversity area by Salvador Acevedo and Paul Dusenbery (2017): GENIAL – Community Collaboration and Empowerment.
STAR_Net Webinar Series
Celebrate 60 Years of Earth Observations with NASA
Date: Tuesday March 6, 2018
Time: 3
pm EST / 2pm CST / 1pm MST / 12pm PST
In its 60 year history, NASA has spent a great deal of time looking outward to find and learn about planets in our Solar System and beyond. This Earth Day, however, our focus turns to the numerous NASA missions that study the planet that we live on and help us understand the Earth’s complex, dynamic systems. Join STAR Net and Theresa Schwerin from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies to learn how you can celebrate Earth Day with NASA through hands-on activities and citizen science!   
For those that are unable to attend the live webinar, we will have a recording posted on our website within a day or two after the live presentation.

Miss Past Webinars? Get Them Here!

Circulating STEM Kits
Do you make microscopes, marble runs, blocks/bricks, or other STEM-related educational materials available for checkout?
If so, please send link(s) to the STEM circulation items in your catalogue to Keliann at We are particularly interested in any instructional materials, kit component lists, or other documents that you developed to help patrons use these resources.
NASA Gravity Assist Podcasts
NASA’s “Gravity Assist” podcast takes you on a journey through the Solar System and beyond with many of the world’s top scientists as your guides. Hosted by Jim Green, director of planetary science, this inaugural series features lively conversations about some of the top discoveries and mysteries in space science. The introductory series begins with the Sun, followed by new segments each week on Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the ice giants Uranus and Neptune, and Pluto.

The title “Gravity Assist” refers to the slingshot effect a spacecraft gets when it uses the gravity of a planet or another object to speed up or alter its course. Each guest reveals the “gravity assist” that propelled them into their field of research.
A Journal Linking In-school and
Out-of-school STEM Learning
Connected Science Learning highlights STEM education experiences that bridge the gap between in-school and out-of-school settings. The online journal features articles about highly effective programs and shares research that connects preK–12 STEM learning in schools and out-of-school settings, specifically highlighting effective mechanisms for collaboration and co-creation.

Many public libraries have formed strong partnerships with their local K-12 schools. This National Science Teachers Association journal is a great place for libraries to write about such partnerships (e.g. How long have you been working together? What activities are you doing?). If you do decide to write an article with your K-12 partner, please let us know so that we can link to your CSL article.
Hands-on STEM:
Rocket Car Distance Challenge
With Engineers Week just around the corner, your library may be looking for fun ways to incorporate the engineering design process in your programs. Rocket Car Distance Challenge, an activity in which patrons design, test, and redesign a balloon-powered car, is the perfect activity for this weeklong celebration. Want to see it in action?
Check out the recording of our Hands-on Fun from STAR Net - it is highlighted at the 12 minute and 30 second mark.
The STAR Library Network (STAR Net) is a hands-on learning network for libraries and their communities across the country. STAR Net focuses on helping library professionals build their STEM skills by providing “science-technology activities and resources” (STAR) and training to use those resources. Plus, engage public audiences nationwide in informal and lifelong learning with the excitement of exploration and discovery through new NASA@ My Library and Project BUILD resources! 
STAR Net is built upon a strong network of collaborators and partners, led by the Space Science Institute’s (SSI) National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL). Partners include the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Afterschool Alliance, Education Development Center, Datum Advisors, Cornerstones of Science, and the Pacific Science Center. Major funding is provided by the National Science Foundation, NASA Science Mission Directorate, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Latest Blogs

Finding Reliable Answers to Tough Questions

By Jessica Stoller-Conrad
It’s great that these young scientists want to learn more about our planet and our place in the universe! But what happens when parents, teachers, and librarians don’t know the answers? 

Visualizing Animals

By Amy Holcomb
After a fall visit to the Field Museum, my colleague and I were inspired to share knowledge from the museum’s extensive Specimens exhibit. 

Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA

By Universe of Learning
As we approach Women’s History Month in March, we look to our partners to help inspire their communities, and future generations, to discover and explore the universe for themselves.

Baking Chemistry Boot Camp

By Amy Holcomb
This past winter break featured a two day program about the science of baking. Each day covered science concepts related to the recipes we tested.
View All Blogs
Visit STAR Net at

Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)
Feb. 6-9, 2018
More Info >>

American Library
Association (ALA)
Midwinter Meeting

Feb. 9-13, 2018
More Info >>

Public Library Association (PLA)
Mar. 20-24, 2018
More Info >>

American Library Association (ALA)
June 21-26, 2018
More Info >>
All Conferences

Engineers Week
Feb. 18-24, 2018
More Info >>

History Month

Mar. 1-31, 2018
More Info >>

Earth Day
Apr. 22, 2017
More Info >>

InSight Mars

May 5, 2018
More Info >>

Summer Reading Program - Theme: Music, Slogan: Libraries Rock
Summer, 2018

Parker Solar
July/August, 2018
More Info >>

Lights On Afterschool
October, 2018

International Observe the
Moon Night

October 20, 2018
View All Events
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