LPI, Pasadena (TX) Public Library Bring Solar System “Oceans of Possibilities” to Local Community

July 6, 2022

LPI, Pasadena (TX) Public Library Bring Solar System “Oceans of Possibilities” to Local Community

On June 29, 2022, members of LPI’s public engagement staff, library staff, and 2022 summer intern class engaged with community members at the Pasadena (TX) Public Library to support the library’s participation in the 2022 “Oceans of Possibilities” summer reading program.

The topic of the event focused on comparing Earth to other ocean worlds in the solar system, particularly Jupiter’s moon Europa. Through hands-on activities and conversations, library patrons, ages 5-10, learned about evidence for a salty, liquid water ocean under the icy surface of Europa and NASA’s Europa Clipper mission, explored density differences between fresh water and salt water, created possible “Europan ocean critters” (below left), and learned about properties of a planet or moon that make it habitable (below right). The young patrons also wrote a “message in a bottle” (above) to send to Europa Clipper scientists and engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.

Left: pipe-cleaner craft model of Europan creature, Right: children learning about Europa

LPI and the Pasadena Public Library have a long-standing partnership bringing NASA planetary science and exploration to the Pasadena community which has a large, underserved population. LPI staff will conduct a second 2022 summer reading program event with the library on July 27.

A national, thematic summer reading program is coordinated annually by the Collaborative Summer Library Program, a nonprofit, charitable organization that supports literacy, education and science through summer reading events in public libraries across the United States.

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