STAR Net resources

Free STEAM learning activities for libraries

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Libraries all over sparked curiosity about space, astronomy, and all things STEM-related during the recent solar eclipse. If you’re looking for ideas to help your community members continue the learning, we’ve got you covered. Explore new ways to bring science, technology, and fun into your programs and services with the STAR Library Network (STAR Net), a hands-on learning network for libraries and their communities across the country. Whether you are new to STEM or are building on past experiences, STAR Net offers resources and collaborations to take lifelong STEM learning to new levels in your library:

Solar-viewing glasses and eye safety

Demand for solar-viewing glasses is always high ahead of an eclipse, but these glasses can be used to safely view the sun anytime. Here are some places to look for glasses if your library is planning other astronomy programming:

If your library is looking for a place to repurpose solar-viewing glasses, Astronomers Without Borders, collects used glasses to be recycled and used in future eclipses.

Other resources

Inspiration from other libraries

Library program flyer with an illustrated astronaut and various planets, reading: ‘Staycation in space, with NASA Solar System Ambassador Bridget Kimsy,’ along with program details
Richmond Free Library Staycation in space program
flyer, via Facebook
  • East Brunswick Public Library (New Jersey) prepped for the eclipse with a makers day event, where participants were invited to create their own homemade pinhole camera to view the eclipse. They also hosted events with NASA Solar System Ambassadors Isaac Osores and Kat Troche.
  • Juneau Public Library (Wisconsin) welcomed NASA Ambassador Michael Prator for a Solar eclipse star party. Participants had the chance to view a solar telescope, enjoy craft activities, and of course, take home their own pair of eclipse glasses.
  • Most libraries offered free eclipse glasses to their community members. Haverhill Public Library (Massachusetts) decided to get extra creative by promoting this free resource with a whimsical reel.
  • Ontario Public Library (New York) hosted a pair of programs to help both kids and adults learn about the upcoming eclipse. NASA Solar System Ambassador Dr. Damian Allis was both the “Kids’ Guide to the 2024 solar eclipse” and the “2024 Solar eclipse guide for adults” events, sharing astrological insights and a chance to try out a sky viewer.
  • Richmond Free Library (Vermont) hosted a series of three programs to help community members get ready for the eclipse. “Where are we? Staycation in space!” gave kids and adults alike the chance to explore planets, asteroids, and more with NASA Solar System Ambassador Bridget Kimsey. “What’s out there? Traveling our universe” introduced attendees to the further reaches of space, including other galaxies, solar systems, and exoplanets. And the final program was eclipse kickoff, featuring presentations, activities, and of course, free solar-viewing glasses.
  • Toledo Lucas Public Library (Ohio) offered a series of programs, including a general eclipse education event, a solar eclipse workshop on wheels, and an eclipse photography program for teens (a team effort with Metroparks Toledo).
  • For even more examples, check out Social Library: Eclipse edition.