Enlightening and Inspiring Generations with Generations of Ideas

Secretary of State Awards Grant to Library

We are delighted to announce that for a sixth year the Library has been awarded a Project Next Generation grant from the Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White and the State Library.  The grant, "Earth, Sky and In-Between: Science YOU Can Do!" for FY 20/21 in the amount of $27,500 will provide funding for hands-on multi-topic science and technology learning opportunities for middle-school youth ages 11 through 14.  "Earth, Sky and In-Between: Science YOU Can Do!" will include winter and spring programming.

The winter program, "Space Explorers," will focus on astronomy.  This twelve week program will include nine weeks of independent study, where participants use specially designed hands-on science kits created in consultation with NASA EPDC Educator Specialist, NASA Glenn Research Center and NASA Solar System Ambassador.  These kits will include scientific instruments like telescopes that will assist study and understanding of the night sky.  Additionally, the winter program will include two Star Parties and a field trip to the Adler Planetarium in Bloomington.  Also, to further enrich the experience, certified staff members will arrange to have the Lunar and Meteorite samples from the Johnson Space Center to view and study.

The spring program, "Earth and Life Around Us," will focus on Earth and Environmental Science and will include diverse learning topics.  This eight week program will include four weeks of independent study, where participants use specially designed hands-on kits created in consultation with NASA EPDC Educator Specialist, NASA Glenn Research Center and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). 

In addition, the spring program will include field trips to a NOAA/NWS site where participants will have the opportunity to meet meteorological staff to learn about an official weather forecasting center and to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago to explore the exhibit, "Science Storms: Wonder is All Natural."  Participants will also take part in a collaborative exploration of a NASA Education module using the My NASA Data tool and will have the opportunity to attend a presentation by the Storm Spotters from the National Weather Service.

We hope community youth will have an opportunity to participate in one or both of these programs.  Details regarding start dates will be forthcoming.