ALA Annual 2016

STEM – STARnet and You

Star Net logo

Not that long, long ago, but in a meeting room really far, far away from the West Concourse, a band of rebel librarians met to discuss Starnet.  No, not even Dantooine would have been too remote for this effective demonstration, but they weren’t planning how to overthrow the Empire.  In the course of one desperate morning, they were discussing challenges of a different sort, namely how to bring affordable yet fantastic STEM programming to their libraries.

You might think this isn’t the STEM programming you are looking for, but I beg to differ.  Did I mention FREE?

Okay great, you’re still with me:

STAR is basically STEM, with STAR standing for Science Technology Activities and Resources. is a site that offers training for librarians in the design and delivery of effective, sustainable STEM programming…yep…all free.

I know, I know…you’ve walked from one side of this convention to the other, and you’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but you’ve never seen *anything* to make you believe that there’s one free STEM site offering everything.

STAR offers

  • Passive (unfacilitated) programming resources
  • Libraries & STEM
  • STARnet resources
  • More hands-on activities

I realize I said the “P” word…passive, but how about we compromise and call it “Unfacilitated”?  Better?

Unfacilitated items offered by STARnet include, but are not limited to:

  • Discover tables/areas
  • Makerspace ideas
    • Crafts with consumables, which you refill as needed
    • Lego tables
    • Play areas – read here as indoor climbing spaces
    • Consider adult climbing spaces!
    • Wind tunnel
    • 3-D printed fossils
    • Microscope
    • Fake animal skins
    • Snap circuit station
    • Make your own exhibit
      • Sticky note wall – Q&A between questions from the librarian and answers from patrons
      • Timeline of NASA history – where were you when these famous NASA events happened?
    • Telescopes
    • Printable exhibits – 3-D and 2-D

STARnet uses Communities of Practice (COP) formats to facilitate STEM programming.  This means, the more of us who get involved and collaborate, the better our offerings will be.

You’re all clear, kid, now let’s *blow* this thing and go home!  I mean, to the library!


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