Metropolitan Library System has been selected through a competitive application process to participate in NASA @ My Library, an education initiative created to increase and enhance STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas with high Latinx populations. Selected libraries receive bilingual (Spanish/English) solar science kits that include a telescope, hands-on activities, and culturally relevant resources; access to NASA subject matter experts for programs; and multiple opportunities for training and support.
Gloria Melchor, a librarian at Capitol Hill Library, applied to this program on behalf of Metropolitan Library System, and the library system was selected as one of 49 national awardees to receive these solar science kits.
As a NASA @ My Library Partner, Metropolitan Library System will receive a kit that contains items such as a 4.5” Dobsonian telescope with solar observing add-on. The Dobsonian telescope provides views of celestial objects like galaxies and nebulae and is a popular choice among astronomers. It also includes two Sunspotters, which use lenses and mirrors to show a projection of the sun’s image so you can safely look at the sun. Included as well is a STEM activity kit based on the children’s book “Moonbear’s Shadow,” designed for grades Pre-K-1st Grade, exploring the concept of shadows. Using the kit, children engage in activities inspired by the book’s storyline, using flashlights and props to model scenes and understand the interplay between light, shadows, and the sun’s movement. The kit includes detailed instructions, materials for six groups, flashlights, felt mats and ponds, bear figures, Kirigami trees, a concept card, and a copy of the book.
These resources, along with support by the NASA @ My Library team, will enable Metro Library to conduct cutting-edge NASA STEAM programming and activities. NASA @ My Library will create compelling learning experiences for Metro Library’s community and share the story, science and adventure of NASA’s scientific explorations of planet Earth, our solar system and the universe beyond.
Upcoming events will feature these items like the following:
Moonbear Shadow Storytime April 3 from 4:15pm-5:00pm at Capitol Hill Library (327 SW 27th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73109). This storytime is centered around the story of “Moonbear’s Shadow,” and will delve into the creation of shadows, explaining how they form when an object obstructs light from reaching a surface, among other related concepts.
Solar Eclipse Viewing Party April 8th from 1:00pm-8:00pm at Capitol Hill Library (327 SW 27th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73109). The total solar eclipse will grace Oklahoma on April 8, 2024, commencing at 1:44 pm CDT, with the Moon’s shadow finally departing the state at 1:51 pm CDT. In case you don’t have Solar Eclipse Glasses, join the Capitol Hill Library during their Eclipse viewing party, where attendees can take turns observing the Solar Eclipse through the Dobsonian telescope and Sunspotters. While awaiting your turn, engage in Eclipse-themed activities with fellow participants. No registration is required, and all ages are welcome.
“The group of libraries participating in this program really embodies the changes we’ve been seeing over the past two decades in the library field,” Project Director Anne Holland said. “Programs for diverse patrons, opportunities for teen engagement, and making cutting-edge science relevant for their patrons are just some of the ways this group stands out.”
Other passive activities include a drawing at Capitol Hill Library that offers a chance to win a science and solar-themed book in either English or Spanish. This is just the start of events and programs to develop from the new opportunity.
NASA @ My Library is offered by the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in partnership with the ALA Public Programs Office, Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) and Education Development Center (EDC). This material is based upon work supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under cooperative agreement No. NNX16AE30A. This work was also assisted and supported by the Space Science Institute, which was the recipient of the cooperative agreement. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA or the Space Science Institute.
About Metropolitan Library System: The Metropolitan Library System provides library services for more than 800,000 residents of Oklahoma County. We have 19 physical locations as well as 24/7 access to our digital resources as
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