Broad Implementation: Phase 2 of the STAR Library Education Network

September 1st, 2014 - April 30th, 2021 | PROJECT

This project will bring STEM education to rural communities through local public libraries. Museum quality exhibits labelled as "Discover Earth", "Discover Technology", and "Discover Space" will spend 3 months at a series of locations around the Nation. Twenty four medium sized libraries will be chosen for the large exhibits and forty small libraries will be chosen for scaled down versions. The project's intent is to provide exhibits in every state and to reach as many under-represented individuals as possible. The significance of this project is that rural areas of this country are underserved regarding STEM education and since this segment of society is represented by 50-60 million residents, it is important to reach out to them. There is a significant segment of the Nation's population (50-60 million) that is underserved by out-of-school learning venues such as museums and science centers. An earlier phase 1 project demonstrated at 18 sites that rural libraries and librarians could provide STEM education to community members ranging in age from adults to children using these hands-on exhibits. Each exhibit (earth, space or technology) includes information about the topic and technologically enabled models to provide interesting and fun discovery mechanisms. They use common layman friendly language that highlights the most recent discoveries in each area. Each exhibit will be placed in the selected library for 3 months during which the library will organize events to feature and advertise the STEM learning opportunities. Another feature of this project will be to determine the models of learning in library settings and as a function of the demographics. The partners in this project that bring the necessary expertise are the American Library Association, the Afterschool Alliance, the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, the University of Colorado Museum, Datum Advisors, LLC, Evaluation and Research Associates, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, the American Geophysical Union, and the Space Science Institute.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

STEM Equity in Informal Learning Settings: The Role of Public Libraries
Implementing Effective STEM Programming in Public Libraries: Eight Recommendations
STEM in Public Libraries: National Survey Results
Library and Afterschool partnerships: How Afterschool Providers are Working Together with Public Libraries
2019 AISL PI Meeting Poster - STAR Library Network (STAR Net) Phase 2
STAR Net Phase 2 Summative Evaluation Report
Executive Summary of the STAR Net Phase 2 Summative Evaluation Report

Team Members

Paul Dusenbery, Principal Investigator, Space Science Institute
Robert Jakubowski, Co-Principal Investigator
Anne Holland, Co-Principal Investigator, Space Science Institute
Laine Castle, Co-Principal Investigator
Keliann LaConte, Co-Principal Investigator, Lunar and Planetary Institute


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1421427
Funding Amount: 2993877


Access and Inclusion: Rural
Audience: Educators | Teachers | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | Geoscience and geography | Space science | Technology
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Library Exhibits