With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Children’s Creativity Museum and UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science are updating howtosmile.org to meet the growing needs of informal educators offering at-home STEM educational programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will establish a network of 10 new partner museums to expand the howtosmile digital library, which provides high-quality STEM activities to an active community of informal educators through best practices in digital resource management-with almost 3,500 cataloged resources. The project is also updating the digital library's legacy cataloging system to reduce complexity and increase security.
(The link for the application form appears in Section 6 below.
Please read through the overview before applying.)
Science or technology museums and children’s museums in the U.S.—both existing and emerging—are encouraged to apply. Other museums and similar non-profit organizations serving the public may be considered such as natural history museums, art museums, planetariums, zoos & aquariums, and gardens & nature centers. Organizations must have a website and the ability to share, or are currently sharing, hands-on STEM activities guides and supporting materials online.
Ten selected applicants will form a rapid response team working together to add new STEM activities for howtosmile that specifically address at-home learners. The team will respond to, revise, and finalize a new set of characteristics that distinguish activities for at-home use. A preliminary framework is available at howtosmile.org/topics/athome. This process will be conducted over a short series of Zoom calls facilitated by the Lawrence Hall of Science. Next, the team will identify, digitize, or customize existing activities from their organization to add to the At-Home Activity Collection on howtosmile. Led by the Children’s Creativity Museum, team members will use finalized at-home characteristics to review candidate activities and revisions before cataloging approved resources.
Selected applicants will receive a check for $3,000 to cover staff time, benefits, and other applicable costs directly related to implementing the project. Eligible expenses include staff time to participate in Zoom calls, collaborative review & cataloging work, activity digitization, activity revisions, and possibly activity development in special cases. Audio/visual costs including new photography and videography to update activities for at-home learners is also acceptable. Stipend should not be used to pay for indirect costs (overhead).
The application is accessible through a Google Form here:
A preview of the application can be downloaded in Word format from this dropbox link. It is highly suggested applicants complete the application in Word and copy and paste answers into the Google Form to prevent any loss of data. Please contact Darrell Porcello if you have any problems with the form or questions. The application will close on March 5, 2021.
Applications will undergo a review process by the howtosmile project team, with additional input from NISE Network Regional Hub Leaders. Priority will be given to applications including STEM hands-on activities from organizations, styles, and content not already represented in howtosmile.org. Reviewers are also particularly interested in organizations serving specific at-home learners within communities in need.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under award CAGML-246996-OMLS-20. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IMLS.