APPLICATION RECEIPT DEADLINE FOR ALL THREE EXPLORE EXHIBITS: October 8, 2015 (Extended from 9/18)
Date application posted: July 13, 2015
Questions? Contact the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In partnership with the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI), the Lunar & Planetary Institute (LPI), and the Afterschool Alliance, the American Library Association Public Programs Office is seeking a total of 40 public library sites to host national tours of three panel exhibits: 1) Explore Earth: Our Changing Planet; 2) Explore Space: A Cosmic Journey; and 3) Explore Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference. Each exhibition will travel to 13-14 sites. Public libraries in rural areas and those serving rural populations and groups underrepresented in STEM fields are especially invited to apply. Libraries which have already hosted or will host the large interactive exhibits, Discover Earth, Discover Tech, and Discover Space are not eligible to apply.
The three traveling exhibits are made possible through the support of the National Science Foundation. The exhibits and educational support materials and outreach opportunities are part of the STAR (Science-Technology Activities and Resources) Library Education Network (STAR_Net), a hands-on learning program for libraries and their communities. STAR_Net seeks to engage underserved youth and their families in fostering an appreciation and deeper understanding of science and technology topics through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs in public libraries, and library collaborations with scientists, engineers, and STEM organizations. The three Explore exhibits include a research study and evaluation of informal science education in a library setting. The knowledge gained about the nature of informal STEM learning in libraries through the evaluation of these exhibits will benefit both libraries and the informal STEM education (ISE) community. For more information about STAR_Net, visit www.STARnetLibraries.org.
All three Explore exhibits will tour from February 2016 through July 2018. Selected sites will host the exhibits for two months. The exhibits require 200 square feet of space for optimal display. Each site will be awarded a grant of $1,000 to support public programs related to the exhibits. Each host library will be asked to actively participate in a national professional learning community called the STAR_Net Online Community.
The project includes an orientation webinar for each Explore exhibit. Webinars will feature presentations about exhibit set up; hands-on science activities related to each exhibit created by the Lunar and Planetary Institute; programming and outreach consultation with the Afterschool Alliance; and a number of professional training resources, including the STAR_Net Online Community, which will involve sharing of best practices among librarians, scientists, engineers, educators, and others who want to bring effective STEM learning experiences to public audiences in a library setting.
The view from space has deepened our understanding of Earth as a global, dynamic system. Instruments on satellites and spacecraft, coupled with advances in ground-based research, have provided us with astonishing new perspectives of our planet. The Explore Earth exhibition will focus on local earth science topics—such as weather, water cycle, and ecosystem changes—as well as a global view of our changing planet. The primary message of the exhibition is that the global environment changes – and is changed by – the local environment of all host communities. The exhibit is divided into three areas: A. Our Changing Planet, B. Ecosystems: The Web of life, and C. Environmental Change at Home. Library patrons will learn that Earth is a complex, global system of interacting subsystems—rock, water, air, and life; understand that Earth’s global system changes on short and long-term time scales; understand the water cycle and the important role that water plays in the earth system; learn about the basics of weather and how meteorologists predict it locally; understand the difference between weather and climate; and learn how to become a thoughtful steward of Planet Earth. The exhibit will include a touchscreen computer kiosk that contains several interactive experiences that will engage children and adults. These include Wild Weather, Earth Stories, along with a Quiz game.
This exhibit shows how engineering provides solutions to better meet human needs and develops sustainable innovations for the future, and how engineers create new technologies to solve problems. It features hands-on and multimedia components that allow exhibit visitors to interact with exhibit content in a dynamic way, encouraging new perspectives about engineers and their vital work. Visitors will become familiar with the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering, critical issues that must be addressed in the 21st century. They will also learn about the fundamental principles of energy, become aware of their own energy use, and understand the impact of engineering on societies over time and place. The exhibit includes three areas: A. Engineering: Past, Present, and Future, B. High Tech/Low tech, and C. Power Up! Creating a Sustainable Energy Future. The exhibit will include a touchscreen computer kiosk that contains a several games that will engage children and adults. Some of the interactive experiences include Game Changers, which is about the Grand Challenges, along with a Quiz game.
Space exploration and research will help us answer the age-old questions: Where did we come from and are we alone? NSF and NASA research programs are helping humanity understand the origin and evolution of galaxies, stars, and planets, and defining the conditions necessary to support life beyond Earth. The four exhibit areas are: A. Search for Alien Earths, B. Exploring Our Solar System, C. Space Rocks, and D. Electric Space. Exhibit goals for visitors are: 1) Learn how stars and planetary systems form and the role that gravity plays, 2) Understand the similarities and differences between Earth and Mars and the tools we use to explore planets, 3) Explore the role that asteroids and comets play in our Solar System, 4) Learn that the Sun is a dynamic star and how it varies, and 5) Explore electric and magnetic changes that take place in space (e.g., the aurora). The exhibit will include a touchscreen computer kiosk that contains several games that will engage children and adults. Some of the interactive experiences include Mission to Mars, Magneto Golf along with a Quiz game.
There will be an orientation webinar for each Explore exhibit. Tentative dates are: Explore Earth—January 20, 2015; Explore Tech—January 21, 2016; and Explore Space—January 26, 2016. Each webinar will include:
There will be additional webinars throughout the tour to offer program support to host sites, including:
Children’s and Youth Librarians’ Webinar: There will be an online training for children’s and youth public program providers from exhibit sites. At least one staff member is required to attend. Public program providers who will partner with the host institutions to implement programs for children, youth, and families will also be welcome to attend. During this webinar, participants will:
Engineering activities: http://community.starnetlibraries.org/discover-tech-activities/
Earth science activities: http://community.starnetlibraries.org/discover-earth-activities/
The STAR_Net Online Community currently has over 800 members from all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and the Philippines. Approximately 100 members of the community are STEM professionals who are working with their local libraries to provide STEM programming. The project team is guided by the extensive body of research on communities of practice such as (1) identifying gaps in knowledge and developing a learning agenda; (2) measuring the value of the community; (3) maintaining a cutting-edge focus; and (4) continuing to build and organize a knowledge repository. Goals include (1) continuing to grow the community; (2) improving and further developing the infrastructure that supports the online community; and (3) providing professional training opportunities for the community by supporting the learning that occurs by exchanging information and best practices. In an earlier phase, the project provided several webinars addressing topics such as collaboration and how to implement standards-based activities that were developed. Current plans are to greatly expand the use of webinars on topics suggested by the community and involving many more librarians and STEM professionals as presenters. The STAR_Net Online Community fosters continued learning and professional training for its members, and the formation of partnerships and collaborations to bring a variety of STEM programs to libraries. Please visit the website at http://community.STARnetlibraries.org for more information.
All public libraries chosen as hosts for an Explore exhibit are required to do the following:
Thirteen or fourteen public libraries will be selected to host each Explore exhibit between February 2016 and July 2018. Each host site will receive the following:
The tours of the three Explore exhibits are open to public libraries in the United States. Public libraries in rural areas and those serving rural populations and underserved groups are especially invited to apply. Individuals and federal entities are not eligible to apply.
Applications will be accepted for Explore exhibits between July 13 and October 8, 2015 (extended from September 18). Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on October 8, 2015. Late or incomplete applications, and applications from ineligible institutions will not be reviewed.
Applications and support materials may not be submitted by mail or e-mail.
To begin the application process, go to http://apply.ala.org/STARNet-Explore.
To apply to host an Explore exhibit, you must complete the following ten steps:
Before you can access the application, you must register to create an application account.
If you have already registered when applying for another ALA Public Programs Office grant project, you may log in, using your e-mail address and password.
Note: The Project Director is the person who will be responsible for coordinating the traveling exhibition at the site. He or she will be the primary point of contact for the project at the applicant institution.
To complete step 3, provide all the information that is requested for the Project Director, Project Coordinator, local library information, and shipping information. You must then save the information.
After clicking the “SAVE” button, you will be able to return to the application at any time and log in, using your e-mail address and password. This will allow you to edit, save, and return to your application as needed prior to the submission deadline.
One piece of information that you must supply is the applicant institution’s DUNS number. All institutions receiving an award are required to provide a DUNS number, issued by Dun & Bradstreet. Project Directors should contact their institution’s grants administrator or chief financial officer to obtain their institution’s DUNS number. Federal grant or subgrant applicants can obtain a DUNS number free of charge by calling 1-866-705-5711. (Learn more about the requirement.)
Applicants may apply for only one Explore exhibition. Only one application will be accepted from each applicant institution.
Please complete the Exhibition Scheduling item for the exhibition you are applying for. Each site will have the exhibition for two months, or approximately 8 weeks. If you have additional information about scheduling preferences to add to your application, please include it at the end of this section under “Comments.”
Please select at least five display periods in which you prefer to host the exhibit and five display periods when you cannot host the exhibit. You must indicate a choice in all the drop down menus. (You may indicate “No Preference” for any of them.) Please note that we cannot guarantee that the exhibition will be available during one of your preferred periods.
Before you compose the narrative part of this proposal, we strongly recommend that you read the guidelines carefully. If you do not, your proposal is unlikely to be competitive.PROPOSAL NARRATIVE
Please describe your plans for presenting the Explore exhibit you have chosen to apply for. The proposal narrative consists of nine sections (described below). Please note that each section of the narrative may not exceed 400 words.
Be sure to address the following points in your narrative:
Upload a typical public program communications plan your library might use and include anything you would do differently for this STEM project.
Upload letters of support from project partners and other organizations, as well as from potential external program presenters.
Upload a floor plan of the exhibition space in your library and photos of the space.
An application to host a STAR_Net Explore exhibit is an application for an award from the sponsor of this project (National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute). The exhibition sponsors are required by law to ask applicants to identify for each application a certifying official who is authorized to submit applications for funding on behalf of the organization.
To complete this section, you must enter all of the information that is requested.
The Review and Edit page summarizes all the information that you have entered. From this page you can review and edit each section, save the entire application and log out of the system, or move ahead to submit your application.
When you are satisfied with your application, submit it using the Submit button. Once your application has been submitted, you may still log in to view or print it, but no further editing or other changes will be possible. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on October 8, 2015.
Applications submitted after that time will be considered ineligible.
Applications and application attachments may not be submitted by mail or e-mail.
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Each application will be assessed by a review panel of librarians and representatives of other educational and cultural institutions and disciplines, in collaboration with the project partners.
Application Deadline: October 8, 2015
Award Notification: By November 13, 2015
If you have questions about the project or the application, contact:
American Library Association Public Programs Office
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045