Public libraries are invited to apply for NASA@ My Library, a STEM education initiative that will increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations currently underserved in STEM education.
The project is offered by the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in partnership with the ALA Public Programs Office, the Pacific Science Center, Cornerstones of Science, and the Education Development Center. Support comes from NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
Seventy-five U.S. public libraries will be selected through a competitive application process to become NASA@ My Library Partners and participate in the 18-month project (Phase 1), with the opportunity to extend for an additional two-year period (Phase 2).
Angie and I are on a mission to visit all our CMLE member libraries – and we are making some great progress! This week we were invited to visit the library at the St. Cloud Hospital, by librarian Susan Schleper. We are sharing all these library visits with you, our members (and others!), to help everyone see the diversity of service we are providing across the CMLE system. And we want you to know what is going on in different libraries, so you feel invited to contact each other to talk about partnerships or sharing ideas for great service! Many of you are solo librarians, or working with others who are not doing the same kinds of things you do – but someone else in the system probably does it or wants to learn more about it. So: read, be awed by all we do here in the CMLE area, and reach out to each other! (And us! At Headquarters we like to partner too!!)
Most visitors to the hospital library are probably not as enthusiastic as we were to be there – but look at this location! If you are in the hospital as a patient or visitor – drop by to look at their materials. It can be very helpful to have a spot to just take a break; and the library can be that space. (I managed to keep my hands off their copy of the Hunger Games. But it was a close thing! Visiting libraries and NOT reading their books is really hard for a book-loving librarian!)
Phineas and Ferb may have had 104 days of summer vacation, but Boeing is presenting teachers and kids with 100 days of STEM learning!
Working with their partners for education, Boeing has assembled 100 days of projects to encourage K-12 kids and their teachers to explore and have fun with all kinds of STEM projects. “With 100 years of innovation experience behind us, Boeing is looking ahead to the next century of possibilities with 100 Days of Learning. These days are meant to spark young people’s natural sense of curiosity and show them just how astronomical their impact on the world can be.”
The lessons are broken into several categories, including:
- The Magic of Flight
- Space Exploration
- Designing the Future
- How Flight Took Off
- You Can Build It
- Engineering In Action
- STEM Teaching Tools
As you click on each challenge, which could be Deploy a Satellite, CubeSats, Build a Lightweight Airplane Wing, or 97 other ideas, you go to the Curiosity Machine website. The Boeing-inspired lessons are here, and there are many more topics and lessons available. Most of them have a suggested grade level for students to work through it, though everything is open to all so students and teachers can explore any project.
You need to sign up for a free account to get access to all the materials, and these are broken into categories of Student, Mentor, Educator, and Parent. Everyone can see the materials required for each project, and an inspiration video to get you started. Educators can post their own notes and photos, to be viewed by their students.
With 100 Boeing-inspired projects to try here, and dozens more available through the Curiosity Machine, there will be tons of material available to explore for everyone!
You have probably seen the stories around the news: excited kid gets a 3D printed hand at the local library. In case you have not – or just want to see a great story about about public library service, check out this video from ABC News.
A few more details and photos from this success story are available here.
This is just another example of the state of library service: we are all using technology more often to connect our services to our patron’s needs. It may not look like a library from 50 years ago, or even 10 years ago, but we serve the needs of our patrons with all the tools at our disposal. And sometimes the results are fantastic!
Is someone in your library interested in learning more about 3D printed limbs?
- Disney is working with the organization Open Bionics to print Disney-themed arms! “Now kids can get excited about their prosthetics. They won’t have to do boring physical therapy, they’ll train to become heroes. They’re not just getting medical devices, they’re getting bionic hands inspired by their favorite characters.”
- The organization e-NABLE is working to bring 3D printed hands and arms for people all around the world. Their site is filled with reference material, information, and stories to share. “The e-NABLE Community is made up of teachers, students, engineers, scientists, medical professionals, tinkerers, designers, parents, children, scout troops, artists, philanthropists, dreamers, coders, makers and every day people who just want to make a difference and help to ‘Give The World A Helping Hand.'”
What other kinds of great things could your library do with a 3D printer? The possibilities are amazing! There are many websites filled with information about using your printer, and designs to follow. Thingiverse is one of the most popular, with all kinds of people sharing designs and learning from each other. “The Thingiverse community has uploaded over 606,640 3D models, and that number is growing every day. Check out all the incredible objects people have created, and get inspired to make your own!”
- Maybe your cat needs armor? It’s here!
- If the cat gets armor, your guinea pig needs some too, just to be fair.
- A frog dissection kit? Comes with lesson plans!
- You probably need a Pokeball with a button-release lid, when you can use a break from your Pokemon Go app.
- A very cool T-Rex skull would brighten up any library!
- Maybe a wall mounted hairdryer holder could help your morning routine, and keep your time management skills sharp?
- Did you lose the buttons to your Toyota Yaris key fob? No worries – just print new ones!
We want to hear from our libraries about your use of 3D printers! Great successes? Share them! The time you printed a 3D pile of sludge – that was supposed to be a Legend of Zelda shield key chain? We want to hear that too!
Are you considering 3D printers for your library? This would be a great topic for us to discuss in a group, so we can share experiences and make plans for the future. Email us if you are interested in some training sessions, or group discussions!
Libraries are all about service; this is one tool we might use to provide outstanding service to our communities!