- Rebecca Purdy
Mark your calendars! You will definitely want to visit the England Run Branch between February 26 and April 24, 2013. The Central Rappahannock Regional Library system is one of only ten libraries in the country to successfully apply for the grant-funded, museum-quality science exhibit, Discover Earth: A Century of Change! Interactive, multimedia displays will allow exhibit visitors to experience digital information in a dynamic way, encouraging new perspectives on our planet and reinforcing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts. The Discover Earth exhibition will focus on local earth science topics—such as weather, the water cycle, and ecosystem changes—as well as a global view of our changing planet.
It features an 18-inch Magic Planet™ globe and a multi-touch table computer; both components provide unique opportunities for cooperative learning. The Magic Planet device allows patrons to explore stunning visualizations of the global earth systems produced by NASA and NOAA research communities (e.g. earthquakes, plate tectonics, tsunamis, hurricanes, changing sea ice, and more). There are also compelling multimedia pieces for the table-top computer that highlight the people who do earth and environmental science research in challenging places, such as at the poles and in the deep ocean, as well as stories told by people who live in regions that are undergoing rapid change, such as in Alaska and in some coastal areas. The piece incorporates personal narratives, stunning graphics, video animations, and educational games.
The exhibit also features several hands-on displays that complement the multimedia pieces. The library has already received a real-time digital weather station that is currently collecting data available to you real-time on the England Run branch page and historically on wunderground.com. We are creating a photo archive of local environmental changes within the last 100 years and will display these as part of the exhibition. If you have photos, letters, or journals that mention any of these changes we would love to include them in the exhibit. Please contact the Adult Research Department at England Run by calling 540-899-1703.
We are also planning many classes and special events to celebrate the exhibit and enhance your experience. Magician Joe Romano will perform his Green Magic show, and we're partnering with area organizations such as the Explore It! Children’s Museum on the Go, Friends of the Rappahannock, and Virginia Tech's Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity. Check back for a detailed list of all of the classes and events.
If you have a school group, club or organization that would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity, please contact Joy McIntire to schedule a visit. We're partnering with the University of Mary Washington's Education Department to provide scavenger hunts, SOL links and virtual field trips to ensure your students obtain the maximum benefit from the exhibit.
For more information on the exhibit as a whole please contact Rebecca Purdy. Discover Earth: A Century of Change, 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 the National Girls Collaborative Project. Discover Earth is supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation.