Port Arthur Public Library partners with NASA to increase STEAM opportunities – Port Arthur News

Texans have been aiming for the stars for years and now a partnership between the Port Arthur Public Library and NASA is bringing the stars closer.

The Port Arthur Public Library was selected through a competitive application process to be part of NASA @ My Library, an educational initiative created to increase and enhance STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning opportunities.

Claudia Hairston, deputy director of the library, said this exciting educational initiative provides opportunities for students in the community who may not already have them available.

“Why not bring in one of the next astronauts from Port Arthur, Texas,” she said. “We are definitely excited. When we researched and looked at the possibility of being able to partner with NASA, it doesn’t get any better than that. “

Hairston said it’s unfortunate that NASA’s headquarters are in Houston, but many of the city’s residents can’t even make it to Houston to visit.

“We hope that another part of this initiative will be to bring these resources to our community and make them easily accessible,” she said.

Carolyn Thibodeaux, program director, said Port Arthur is one of 60 libraries across the country to join the initiative.

“We look forward to introducing STEAM concepts to our youngest clients and exploring the universe with people of all ages during our public programs in 2021 and 2022,” said Thibodeaux.

Thibodeaux plans to use the library’s gallery, which features a number of TV / computer screens, to create a multimedia presentation of the initiative.

She said it’s similar to an art show but will focus on space.

“We hope to be able to organize formal programming in person with professional subject matter experts,” Thibodeaux said.

Collaboration allows selected libraries to interact with each other and study collectively together.

One of the events Thibodeaux can’t wait to share with young people is the upcoming NASA launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for December 18.

The telescope, according to NASA, will serve as the first deep space observatory for the next decade.

“Science is everything,” Thibodeaux said.

The library is currently running a 5 week series on Monday evenings using visualization boards.

“How do you teach science in there?” Thibodeaux asked. “You can bring out the creativity of teens and tweens and I hope you can push their creativity towards science, the stars and the galaxy.”

Thibodeaux hopes to announce upcoming initiative events soon.

The library has the seal of approval / sponsorship of the Port Arthur Independent School District and the Port Arthur Housing Authority.

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