Original Project Proposal
Science in the Stacks is a collaboration between Montshire Museum of Science and eight small community libraries to create eight traveling science exhibits coupled with programming packages that can travel to each of the participating libraries. The exhibits and their companion programs will be designed to increase family participation at the libraries. |
The Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C., a federal agency, announced a $98,474 National Leadership Grant in September to establish a new educational partnership between the Montshire Museum and eight local libraries. The Howe Library of Hanover is the principal collaborator with Montshire on the project. Other participating libraries include Converse Free Library in Lyme, N.H.; the Fiske Free Library in Claremont, N.H.; the Lebanon, N.H., Public Library; the Lathem Memorial Library in Thetford, Vt.; the Norwich, Vt., Public Library; The Richards Free Library in Newport, N.H. and the Tracy Memorial Library in New London, N.H.
The grant money will be used to design, prototype, and build eight tabletop exhibits on a variety of science topics. Each library will augment the exhibits with literary resources related to each theme, providing opportunities for families to learn more about science together. The exhibits will rotate among all eight participating libraries. Out of the 50 National Leadership Grants announced by the IMLS, Montshire was one of only three museums in the country, and the only science museum, to receive an award.
Our kick-off Symposium took place Monday, February 28, 2000 at the Montshire Museum of Science. Dr. David Carr, of the University of North Carolina, spoke on "Creating Places for Family and Lifelong Learning Opportunities within our Communities." Dr. Carr is an avid observer, advocate, and researcher of museums and libraries, and addressed the role these cultural institutions play within our communities to promote family and lifelong learning.
We met on March 24, 2000 at the Montshire Museum to discuss just what inquiry-based learning means, some of the specifics of exhibit design (critiquing exhibits in use at the Montshire Museum of Science), and we started the process of working through choosing specific topics for each of the 8 exhibits we'll be creating.
We met again May 1, 2000 at the Howe Library to discuss what makes a good library program and to share some of the exhibit topic ideas we'd been working on. We also began to work through the issues of the collections materials that would be travelling with the exhibits.
Our final meeting as a group was on November 17th, 2000 at the Montshire Museum. We met to view the completed exhibits, to review bibliographies and the programming materials created to accompany the exhibits, and to review and discuss travelling and evaluating the exhibits and materials.