Los Lunas Public Library Partners In National Project On Gender Equitable, Culturally Responsive Science Learning

LLPL News:

LOS LUNAS — Los Lunas Public Library has been selected as one of 12 libraries to participate in the STAR Net STEAM Equity Project, a competitive grant program that will enable the library and its collaborators to offer special programs, educational products, and exhibitions.

Through this project, Los Lunas and surrounding area residents are invited to join this effort to empower tweens and their families in equitable STEAM learning and career paths by building off of their existing strengths, interests, and diverse cultures.

The STEAM Equity project — where STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math — is designed specifically for libraries in rural communities with sizeable Latinx populations.

“We are so proud to be chosen through a competitive application process for this amazing opportunity,” Library Director Cynthia Shetter said. “I think kids and adults alike will see that science, technology, engineering and math are more than school subjects — they offer ways to approach our personal and community needs and inspire creativity, collaboration, and the curiosity to learn more. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with UNM Valencia’s Title III: Reaching Rural STEM Students program, New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service in Valencia County, Valencia Soil & Water Conservation District, the Kiwanis Club of Los Lunas, and the Friends of the Los Lunas Public Library and Museum of Heritage & Arts to launch a series of fun STEAM learning opportunities.”

“We will be working together to encourage participation by community members who are under- represented in STEM fields, especially Latino/a/x families and individuals, and women and girls,” Children’s Librarian Stephanie Birr said.

Over the four-year project, Los Lunas Public Library will receive $15,000 to buy STEAM learning materials and offer programs, such as Lotería with Robots, especially to meet the needs and interests of tweens and their families.

Other highlights will include:

  • STEAM Kits, complete with educational games and tools, for our collaborators to bring learning opportunities to their clubs, events, and other outreach 
  • a new STEAM Exploration Space where patrons can learn and play 
  • three traveling STEAM exhibitions, in both Spanish and English, with games, design challenges, and interactives for youth and families.

For more information and a calendar of upcoming library programs, visit www.loslunasnm.gov/library or www.facebook.com/loslunaslibrary. The STAR Net STEAM Equity Project is offered by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute (NCIL/SSI), the American Library Association (ALA), Twin Cities PBS (TPT), Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), and Education Development Center (EDC), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DRL-1906172 to the Space Science Institute and Grant Number DRL-1906084 to the American Library Association. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, Space Science Institute, or American Library Association.

ABOUT LOS LUNAS PUBLIC LIBRARY  

The Los Lunas Public Library is a municipal department with the Village of Los Lunas, New Mexico. Founded in 1966, the library prides itself on being innovators who embrace technology and understand our diverse community by providing educational and recreational experiences needed to succeed as citizens, students, and parents.

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