Astronomy Dome

Stars, Mars & Galaxies On the Go with NASA Award

We are pleased to announce a grant award of $25,000 from the NASA Community Anchor Award program to support the launch of "Astronomy Dome: Linking Youth to the Universe," a mobile planetarium experience. The initiative aims to increase access to educational and STEM centered programming implemented throughout the greater Houston area by HPL’s Community Engagement Team and Youth Services librarians.

HPL’s Community Engagement Team is always on the move, delivering library services to communities, through its fleet of vehicles equipped with cutting-edge, essential technology. With "Astronomy Dome," specialized NASA programming is now part of this strategic outreach. HPL’s wide-ranging resources and tools utilized by dedicated Neighborhood Library staff serving students and young learners are enhanced by a curriculum that focuses on Mars, galaxies and astrobiology.

NASA’s generous support of this project aligns with HPL’s mission: We Link People to the World. HPL Deputy Director Nicole Robinson expresses gratitude and enthusiasm for the funding that uses libraries as a connector, “to spark an interest in space exploration and scientific careers, as well as inspire youth to aim for the stars.” The mobile planetarium experience is geared toward youth in grades K-12, and efforts to reach the target population extend to HPL Neighborhood Library locations and designated Houston Complete Communities. In addition to the purchase of items, such as telescopes for “Star Party” events, staff have access to training opportunities through the Anchor Award program.

NASA selects a diverse group of projects from museums, science centers, library systems and other informal education organizations across the country as NASA Informal Education Community Anchors. The projects receive Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) Community Anchor Awards. Designation as a community anchor recognizes an institution as a local community resource. Projects bring space exploration to traditionally underserved areas and broaden student participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

For more information about the Houston Public Library’s Community Engagement services, visit https://houstonlibrary.org/outreach or call 832-393-1533.

To learn more about the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions Program, please visit: https://informal.jpl.nasa.gov/museum/CP4SMP.

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