Science In the News

Math Program Supports Out-of-School Learning

By Latest News, Science In the News

Here’s a math program to promote in your community that supports out-of-school learning. Maine Mathematics Science and Engineering Talent Search (MMSETS) – Problem-Solving Program for Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont Students

Students receive a problem to solve once a month for seven rounds. Participating in this program is a fun way for student to improve their math skills in an informal way.

Deadline to apply this year is September 5!

More information on the Problem Solving Program including the application:

More information on MMSETS:

Explore tech exhibit picture

From Take Home Telescopes to Fancy Cake Pans, Maine Libraries Have What You Want

By Latest News, Science In the News

A recent Bangor Daily News article highlights some of the great things libraries are circulating now (besides books). Cornerstones was interviewed for this article and mentions one of the ways we work with librarians to help increase interest in science in our communities.

From take home-telescopes to fancy cake pans, Maine libraries have what you want


Explore tech exhibit picture

Explore Tech Exhibit: Engineers Make a World of Difference

By Latest News, Science In the News

Explore Tech Exhibit: Engineers Make a World of Difference

At Curtis Memorial Library

Brunswick, ME

October 28 – December 29, 2017

Join Curtis Memorial Library Saturday, October 28 from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, for the opening event of the Explore Tech Exhibit. The event will be a day of engineering experiences and conversations with local engineers. An array of hands-on activities and challenges will encourage playful learning. Visitors will meet entrepreneurs from TechPlace, Brunswick Landings’ Business Incubator Technology Accelerator and other local innovators. Cornerstones of Science will also be on hand assisting with activities.

Explore tech exhibit pictureExplore Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference, a traveling exhibition for libraries, is part of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute. Exhibit partners include the American Library Association, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and Afterschool Alliance. Explore Tech is supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Curtis Memorial Library was chosen as one of fourteen sites and will host the exhibit through December 29, 2017, in the library’s Collaboratory.

This exhibit shows how engineering provides solutions to better meet human needs and develops sustainable innovations for the future, and how engineers create new technologies to solve problems. It features hands-on and multimedia components that allow exhibit visitors to interact with exhibit content in a dynamic way, encouraging new perspectives about engineers and their vital work.

Visitors will become familiar with the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering, critical issues that must be addressed in the 21st century. They will also learn about the fundamental principles of energy, become aware of their own energy use, and understand the impact of engineering on societies over time and place.

The exhibit includes three areas: Engineering: Past, Present, and Future, High Tech/Low tech, and Power Up! Creating a Sustainable Energy Future. The exhibit will include a touchscreen computer kiosk that contains a several games that will engage children and adults. Some of the interactive experiences include Game Changers, which is about the Grand Challenges, along with a Quiz game.

During the exhibit period, the library will host several programs for adults, teens and children. Here are the first few:

Saturday, November 4 at 10 am: Meet the Robots—An interactive robotics program presented by Robotics Institute of Maine.

Wednesday, November 8 at 6 pm: Bowdoin Women in Computer Science Panel Presentation cosponsored by the American Association of University Women.

The Fall Science Read at the library will be Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. This is the phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Multiple copies of the book will be available in October and programs to enhance patrons’ reading of the book are scheduled for November and December. — Pamela Bobker



March for Science

By Latest News, Science In the News

March For Science

Take a stand and attend the main March For Science at the National Mall in Washington D.C or a local rally or march in support of science. If you feel that science and the funding and policy surrounding it are under great strain, then make your voice heard by attending an event. Most marches are taking place on Saturday April 22 also designated as Earth Day. Find a march near you by clicking on this link.

March for Science


Full STEM Ahead: Afterschool Programs Step Up as Key Partners in STEM Education

By Science In the News

Afterschool STEM learning is happening, and more is wanted! This special report from America After 3pm, the decade-long investigative survey by Afterschool Alliance of how children spend the hours between 3 and 6 p.m., offers a focused review of the data on STEM programming throughout the country. Released in September, here are some key findings and how library-facilitated STEM learning experiences can help:

  • The number of children participating in afterschool programs has grown from 6.5 million to 10 million in the last 10 years. Parents of an additional 19.4 million children would enroll their children if a program were available.

Afterschool programming is a much-needed opportunity for libraries to engage their communities’ children.

  • Seven million children attend afterschool STEM programs, with similar rates for girls and boys and increased rates for African-Americans and Hispanics.

Afterschool STEM programming can inspire those particularly under-represented in STEM fields: women, African-Americans, and Hispanics.

  • STEM programs need to be accessible, convenient, frequent, and quality. Rural areas in particular suffer from a scarcity of reliable, quality STEM programs.

As 21st century community learning centers, libraries are uniquely situated to provide on-going, informal, and accessible quality STEM programs.

  • 70% of parents think afterschool programming should provide STEM experiences, yet the majority do not consider it a major factor in choosing an afterschool program.

Library-facilitated science learning can directly communicate the power of STEM programming to parents and thus engage and motivate parent advocacy to expand and support STEM programs for children.

  • Technology and engineering are rapidly-growing, 21st century fields and the least represented in afterschool programs.

Libraries can provide informal, hands-on learning opportunities for children to use technology like telescopes and microscopes, build or tinker, all of which can ignite interest in these fields.

  • Partnerships with STEM professionals and educators are key to effective STEM programming.

Libraries don’t have to go it alone. As experts in bringing communities together, they can facilitate STEM collaboration to enrich the lives and learning opportunities of all.

Find inspiration in the innovative afterschool STEM programs from around the country that are highlighted throughout this report. Resources to further assist librarians in planning their own STEM programming, as well as information on the Afterschool Alliance’s database of funding opportunities, are listed at the end. To read more, click here!

3D Printing and It’s Place in Libraries: Transforming for All

By Science In the News

A bold article just caught our attention, maybe yours too! Click here to read “Libraries Are the Future of Manufacturing in the United States.”

Transforming for people with disabilities or who are more visual learners. Read this IMLS blog on how 3D Printers are helping in libraries and museums.

And this recent article in The Atlantic. “A Library of Good Ideas”

If you have a little time, this 21-page Perspectives article from January 2015 is a must read especially if you are on the fence about this whole 3D printing thing. It gives a balanced perspective and helps detail the role of the library. Click here to read OITP Perspectives – Progress in the Making: 3D Printing Policy Considerations through the Library Lens

The Planetary Society to Release a Solar Sail

By Science In the News

The LightSail spacecraft will take its first test mission on May 20, 2015. The sail will use the power of the sun for propulsion, a concept that Carl Sagan envisioned back in the 1970s. The Planetary Society has worked to raise the funds for this project through private means, and with Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson behind them it sure has the visibility it needs to grab people’s attention. A bigger mission is set to take place in 2016. Click here to read more about the story behind this project and information on things to come.


Image of the LightSail from