Explore! is designed to engage children in space and planetary science in the library and informal learning environments.
This Web site provides hands-on activities and supporting resources such as presentations, recommended books, and Internet resources for librarians and other informal educators. We invite you to use these products to engage children of all ages in the wonders of rockets, space colonies, our solar system, how our planets were shaped, staying healthy in space, and more! The materials are free for educational use and designed specifically for the library setting and informal educational venues:
- The hands-on activities are designed to be easy to do, use readily available materials, and require little preparation time.
- For many of the activities the children make creations to take home and share with their families. Each topic offers opportunities for families to continue to learn together through reading and web exploration.
- The topics are designed to be flexible and can be incorporated in any program involving children, including summer sessions, after-school programs, festivals, science days, and family events.
- Activities vary in length, ranging from 30 minutes to two hours, and often can be modified to fit the time available.
- Explore! provides opportunities for partnering libraries with volunteer groups, local businesses, community programs, and schools.
We recommend that you examine the Explore! Web site and select the topics that will interest your patrons. Try one topic at a time. Realize that each topic has background information for you and additional resources that you can share with your patrons. Consider having some of the books and videos on display for your patrons to check out after the event. In addition to the main activities and demonstrations, there are extensions that allow younger and older children to investigate the topic.
Consider getting in touch with local planetariums, museums, scientists, and NASA's Solar System Ambassadors-ask them to join your events and share their experiences or resources with the children. Remember that your Explore! Network-colleagues conducting Explore events and the Lunar and Planetary Institute Explore! team-are always willing to share ideas!
May 28, 2009