Help Kids and Teens Discover Earth
Keliann LaConte | May 17, 2012
The Lunar and Planetary Institute is pleased to announce the release of Discover Earth: Hands-on Activities, a module to support hands-on Earth science explorations in libraries and other places of community learning. Educators are invited to download the activities, supporting reading games, and facilitator resources—all free for educational use—at the Explore! Discover Earth website. For questions or comments relating to these materials, please contact the Explore program team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Discover Earth activities focus on Earth science topics close to home—such as local weather and the plants, animals, crops, and environmental features unique to your region—as well as a global view of our changing planet. There are icebreaker activities, science investigations, weather observations, crafts, and more! The activities are designed to be easy to implement, and they require readily available—and generally inexpensive—materials. The activities are designed for use with audiences in the following four age ranges: 5–7, 8–9, 10–13, and teens. Reading games—customized for ages 5–9, 10–13, and teens—combine book lists and reading logs into take-home adventures that support the hands-on activities. The reading games and reading lists can even be customized to suit your institutions’ resources and needs! The Facilitator's Resources packet includes background information, resource lists, and other information designed to assist you in facilitating the activities.
Discover Earth: Hands-on Activities is part of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net), led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. Network partners include the American Library Association, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and the National Girls Collaborative Project. Discover Earth is supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation. The module was developed for libraries to use in support of the Discover Earth: A Century of Change traveling exhibit, though it may be implemented independently.
Librarians, scientists, engineers, educators, museum staff, and others are invited to join the STAR_Net online community! The website fosters collaboration among professionals who want to provide or support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning experiences in libraries. Please join the online community and share your experiences implementing the Discover Earth activities with your colleagues.
If you or your colleagues will be attending the American Library Association Annual Conference this summer, please consider joining us to learn more about resources and opportunities available to your library through this project. We will feature some of the hands-on activities in the module! “Discover Earth: How to Present Programs about Earth Sciences in Your Library” will be held on Sunday, June 24, from 1:30–3:30 p.m. Hear from public library exhibit hosts and learn about a Community of Practice for librarians and scientists who want to create innovative STEM programs in libraries. Speakers include Paul Dusenbery and Lisa R. Curtis, National Center for Interactive Learning/Space Science Institute; Stephanie Shipp and Keliann LaConte, Lunar and Planetary Institute; Susan Brandehoff, ALA Public Programs Office, and Karen Peterson, National Girls Collaborative Project.
Keliann LaConte is Education Specialist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute.