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Awarded Grants Search
The University of Wyoming's National History Day engages more than 500,000 middle and high school students annually in sourcing, critical thinking, problem-solving, oral, written, analytical, and presentation skills. Due to the pandemic, students seeking to access primary sources for research have had to turn to online resources. The American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming will increase access to its archives through strategic digitization, a new website that will display these digitized materials, and a marketing campaign to spread awareness of the website to History Day participants in all 50 states. Subject areas will include entertainment, western history, women's history, transportation, conservation, journalism, and more.
The Howard University Gallery of Art will safeguard its constituents from exposure to the COVID-19 virus and greatly expand its virtual services by making works in its collection accessible for viewing or study whether on exhibit or in storage. The gallery will provide comprehensive online research accessibility through a new collections database; create digital images of its collections; and produce an interactive 3-D virtual museum space. New educational programming will be developed to include virtual exhibitions, artists talks, and curatorial lectures. The project will allow the gallery to pivot to accommodate the growing needs of online teaching, learning, research, publications, and exhibitions.
The Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum will strengthen its long-term capacity to produce accessible digital educational resources for K-12 and college-level educators on archaeology, history, preservation, and ecology. With the onset of COVID-19, and the resulting cancellation of the museum's in-person summer and fall activities, its plans to develop these resources have been accelerated. The museum will hire a digital education coordinator to oversee the project and a digital education content developer to create and manage the content and budget for travel and publication funds, computing, and photography/videography equipment. The project will convert in-person programming to digital content and create new content that meets needs identified through research and analysis. The museum will create a resource center on its website and identify an open educational resource (OER) host for the content to reach the widest possible audience.
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon will develop four different "take and make" activity kits, aligned with the museum's mission of enhancing scientific and cultural knowledge and inspiring stewardship of our collective past, present, and future. The kits, designed for youth ages 6-12 who are disproportionately affected by mandated online learning in response to COVID-19, will include a graphic story poster along with activities, materials, and instructions. Museum staff will assemble a total of 10,000 kits, which will be distributed throughout the region by a robust group of community partners. In accordance with health and safety guidelines, libraries and the museum will display completed projects through in-person and/or online Museum Project Galleries. The galleries will also promote group discussions that engage participants to connect, reflect, and learn from one another.
The University of Iowa will expand the Stanley Museum of Art's Senior Living Communities Program, which brings art programming and interactive activities to seniors in long-term care facilities in Southeast Iowa. The museum will combine its resources with the Pentacrest Museums, Office of the State Archaeologist, and University Libraries to develop synchronous virtual programs for populations especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and underserved in outreach programs with a goal to increase participants' sense of connection and well-being and decrease their feelings of isolation. The project team will develop a web portal that responsively adjusts to audience needs based on assessment data. Themed online modules will include scheduled live-streamed interactive video presentations, a library of pre-recorded videos, high-resolution images, collection guides, and activities for users to explore. The university will also preserve salaries for project staff whose jobs have been jeopardized by the pandemic.
The Weisman Art Museum will address the impact of COVID-19 on the low and no vision/hearing community by creating a suite of tools, resources, and programs to help alleviate the increased experience of isolation and fragmentation. The museum will partner with Vision Loss Resources and the University of Minnesota's Disability Resource Center and Center of Applied and Translational Sensory Science to create resources that convey sight and sound through verbal description tours and digital methods. With the support of an Access Advisory Committee of partners and community members, the museum will conduct research, focus groups, and a needs assessment; develop a prioritized plan of actionable goals; train staff and volunteers; develop a suite of in-person and digital resources; host a symposium; and create interpretive programs in conjunction with an exhibition that examines visual art and visual engagement.
The City of Foley, Alabama, will purchase and make 15 internet hot spots available for check out to local families who are unemployed or have children attending school virtually. This purchase will give unemployed workers the opportunity to search for jobs and allow children to continue to submit school assignments from the comfort of their homes. The Library and Railroad Museum will also purchase items to ensure a safer environment inside its buildings, including ionization and UV systems and a new HVAC. Partitions in its 28-station computer lab will help patrons use community resources while adhering to social distancing practices. Other items include sneeze guards, hand sanitizing stations, stanchions to form lines, and carts to disinfect books.
In response to increased interest in digital experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iroquois Indian Museum will create and launch eight virtual tours. The tours will highlight Iroquois and Haudenosaunee culture, including an introduction to the Iroquois and its communities, its relationship with nature, early technology, formation of the confederacy, oral history and storytelling, stereotypes, and the unwritten language of Wampum. The series will kick off with a live virtual opening reception of the museum's new feature gallery exhibit, Identity/Identify, which was originally scheduled to open in April 2020. The virtual visits will be freely accessible on the museum's website.
Operating in a high poverty region of Virginia with limited funds and resources, the Lonesome Pine Regional Library found itself ill-equipped to reach residents in their homes during the pandemic. The library will transition its services to long-term digital platforms to reach its communities where they are. Lonesome Pine Regional Library will acquire digital tools, train employees in digital technology and services, offer digital resources to patrons, re-purpose in-house programming for online use, and launch new online programming, ultimately advancing the knowledge and skill sets as well as the love of reading and learning in its communities. The library will ensure successful activity launch and maintenance in all nine library branches, as well as engage community partners, such as Mountain Empire Community College, who will host a Microsoft Office training, and East Tennessee State University, who will provide an Adobe Creative Cloud training through its Adobe Certified Associate classes and Media Production and Social Media workshops.
The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library will design programs focused on history and civic engagement for nonprofit service providers, teachers, and the public in response to the disruption in education resulting from the COVID-19 health emergency. The library will collaborate with and provide programs to agencies that work with underserved transgenerational populations, including two homeless shelters, a center that provides child care for low-income individuals, a Boys and Girls Club, two YMCAs, and an organization that provides services for seniors. The project team will develop age-appropriate materials that can be delivered in multiple ways, including digital content and educational activity boxes. A "Build a Quarantine Museum" program will allow local community members to tell the story of themselves during the COVID-19 crisis. The project will also produce teacher resources that will focus on teaching difficult subjects through primary resources.
The Museum Association of New York (MANY) will support 100 museums in high needs locations in the state to help them respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by giving staff the tools and training to reach their communities virtually and raise their profiles with audiences beyond their physical locations. The project will provide partners with hardware, software, and training to develop virtual programs focused on stories from their collections revealing cultural and racial diversity within their communities. Each museum will partner with a local library to develop and implement programs that build on the assets of both organizations. Each museum will develop, implement, assess, and revise at least two new programs, resulting in access to 200 new virtual programs for museums-no matter their geographical location. MANY will post project results and a documentary video on its website and YouTube channel.
In partnership the Lawrence Hall of Science at University of California, Berkeley, and a cohort of museums from the National Informal STEM Education Network, the Children's Creativity Museum will update, refresh, and retool its existing digital infrastructure 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 will also update the digital library's legacy cataloging system to reduce complexity and increase security.
The J. F. Drake Learning Resources Center will develop a curbside, contactless click-and-collect program for itself and the State Black Archives Research Center and Museum. This service will allow faculty, students, and the local community to continue access to the library and museum's non-digital collection resources. While the library and museum have several electronic resources such as eBooks and eJournals and streaming services such as Films on Demand and Kanopy, there are physical print resources that are inaccessible due to the pandemic. Using high tech, low touch contactless access solutions and smart electronic lockers, this program will revolutionize the delivery of the museum's and library's digital and special collections that keeps staff and students safe and adheres to social distancing guidelines.
The Fayetteville Public Library will purchase Bibliotheca and Envisionware technology to increase self-service opportunities and allow for unstaffed library hours. Technology includes mobile and hands-free checkout options, self-check kiosks, mobile printing options, hold lockers, and a state-of-the-art software to regulate the number of people in the library at once and enable building access after-hours. Overnight shift workers who otherwise would not have the opportunity can access library materials 24 hours a day. Parents and students adapting to online or homeschooled learning will have greater access to materials and resources to support their education. The community will benefit from the new technology, with an emphasis on increased library hours and low-contact services that will specifically benefit some of the more economically challenged and high-risk members of the community.
The Intrepid Museum will develop and deliver virtual education programs to approximately 12,000 New York residents over two years. The museum will produce educator-ready resource sets for virtual synchronous teaching on 20 distinct multidisciplinary topics, with modifications for specific audience types. Each set will include an interactive lesson plan, links to freely available EdTech resources, and embedded formative assessment tools. The museum will share project materials with local and state library systems to address capacity challenges that some library systems are experiencing in their efforts to serve their audiences in this transitional time. The sets will also be accessible on the museum's website for audiences who prefer to experience these programs on their own time. The project's overarching goal is to contribute to the overall social-emotional wellbeing of its diverse audiences, channeling positive energy, and providing opportunities for social connections.
The Free Library of Philadelphia will address longstanding digital literacy and access, workforce development, and adult education challenges in the city of Philadelphia that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Through its Digital Inclusion and Workforce Development Initiative, the library will enhance, expand, and make its resources digitally available. In Philadelphia, 16 percent of people live without a home computer and 29 percent live without broadband access. The Free Library was their only source of free computer use and internet until it had to shut its doors. The library will also offer direct services to job seekers (remotely and in person), share resources and information among Philadelphia's network of workforce development, adult education, and digital literacy providers, and prioritize community engagement efforts to ensure its programming is relevant and responsive.
The Burlington County Library System's (BCLS) hotspot and device lending pilot program will bring internet connectivity and technology access to Burlington County's disadvantaged populations. The closing of libraries due to the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the digital literacy divide in the rural county, which has a large number of households without computers or internet access. The library system will partner with county agencies and local nonprofit organizations to conduct outreach, promote the lending program, and inform the public about the availability of hotspots and devices for borrowing. BCLS also will create simple tutorials to meet the digital literacy needs of economically distressed populations. They will measure the impact of this project by analyzing lending data and customer surveys.
Roger Williams Park Zoo will adjust its entire portfolio of school programs to a new digital reality, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will support the staffing needs associated with transitioning the existing school program curricula and evaluation methodologies to meet a regional need for digital science education. High-impact programming will build on partnerships with a Title I school community, the Providence After School Alliance, and homeschooling families. Colleagues from GEMS-Net--a partnership among the University of Rhode Island's School of Education, scientists and engineers, and public school districts-- will provide feedback on the relevance of the programming for the teachers in the 13 districts in which they guide science learning. The zoo will pilot at least two of the programs in three different schools in exchange for more in-depth teacher feedback.
The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will design, produce, and deliver new digital learning resources to support individuals and groups affected by COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. The "Pennsylvania History to Go" initiative will film, edit, and produce virtual tours of the 22 museums on the Pennsylvania Trails of History and create infrastructure to produce live digital programs. The commission will engage with community organizations to promote and distribute these virtual tours to underserved audiences. An internal steering committee will manage production and an external advisory panel consisting of school educators, library staff, multicultural representatives, agents for people experiencing barriers to access, the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, and other existing and new partners, will to coordinate content, access, and distribution.
The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) will implement a project to help museums meet their immediate needs and prepare to reopen, navigate the broader impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and plan for longer-term survivability. The project team will develop and widely distribute a suite of resources and services to support strategies for museums to plan for safe and equitable re-openings. The resources will include guidelines, tools, safety trainings, and professional development opportunities. AAM will maintain up to date versions of the resources and incorporate the data collection, marketing and dissemination plans, and partnerships into future projects in order to sustain both the content created and methods learned throughout the project.
The Virginia Museum of History and Culture will increase public access to knowledge and understanding of the Black experience in Virginia and America by cataloging, digitizing, and providing public access to historic images and three-dimensional artifacts. In response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the health, wealth, and safety inequalities faced by Black Americans, the museum has designed this project to create new pathways for digital inclusion and increased access to collections and stories representing the Black community. A collections-sharing partnership between the museum and the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia will help make these items broadly available. The project will also enable the museum to preserve current staff positions and move this partnership forward. Following collections processing and digitization, a cross-divisional team will implement community engagement and outreach.
The SEE Science Center will re-imagine its existing fall field trip program to support the local school system as it adapts to the new reality of online education. For the past six years, the museum has provided every 4th grade class in the Manchester School District with a free field trip to the site, reaching over 1,000 students annually from 14 elementary schools. The museum will convert five existing programs into outreach and virtual formats, provide a minimum of 60 field trip programs to Manchester 4th graders; work with an evaluation firm to collect program evaluations; create a final evaluation report; and produce a program action plan to ensure continued benefits after the grant period has concluded. The project will also support staff salaries to support program modifications, as well as related supplies and computer equipment.
The current pandemic offers an opportunity for innovation and teen engagement with new formats that improve access to mental health resources. The Seattle Public Library will integrate co-design and the immersive technology of virtual reality (VR) to improve access to mental health resources for vulnerable youth. Co-design will empower library staff and teens to envision how VR experiences can help support long-term spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Teens and young adults will receive technology to develop content. To mitigate sanitation challenges presented by COVID-19, teens and young adults will receive technology to keep and hardware will not be shared among participants or library staff. Three library systems-Pacific Northwest urban Seattle Public Library, urban East Coast DC Public Library, and rural South Central Fayette Public Library Museum and Archive-will gather information about the variety of teen mental health needs in its communities and build a framework and set of resources that will succeed across different regions of the United States.
The Tampa Museum of Art will expand and enhance programming designed to reduce stress and anxiety associated with economic hardship. Due to documented reports indicating increased signs of clinical anxiety and depression, the museum will extend its existing art therapy-informed interventions online and expand virtual engagement opportunities to families participating in the Museums for All program. The museum will refocus the regular duties of the permanent staff and create the position of Digital Media Producer to support the need for more online programming due to COVID-19. Primary project components will include art therapy-informed in-gallery conversations between parents and children, take home art supplies and online videos for extended learning, and online engagement for families unable to visit the downtown museum campus.
The Newberry Library will expand its digital resources for teachers, students, and parents, enhancing remote learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The library will support staff in its Digital Initiatives and Services department as they digitize and make freely available modern manuscripts from the Newberry's collection related to Chicago's history of social activism and protest. It will also use these manuscripts to complement existing digital resources that are frequently used in both K-12 and undergraduate classrooms nationwide. Staff identified papers of 13 individuals as priorities for digitization. All offer rare insight into a variety of social movements in the first half of the 20th century from the personal perspectives of their leading figures. Each brings to life the struggles for racial equity, union rights, and women's suffrage, highlighting Chicagoans' contributions to progressivism while revealing how artists and writers participated in and contributed to social reform.
In response to school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center will offer a free computer lab for students in first to 12th grades in Indianola and Sunflower counties. The project is intended to sustain the already limited access to cultural offerings in an impoverished area of the Mississippi Delta while ensuring that students have access to computers and broadband services. The museum will transform its multi-purpose center into a computer lab where students can complete class assignments and access other resources. The lab will adhere to CDC guidelines and include 10 workstations, one of which will be handicapped accessible. The museum will hire two individuals with backgrounds in math, English/language arts, and reading to staff the lab in addition to a lab counselor who will offer much needed safe-haven services for students.
Wicomico Public Libraries will expand its hotspot lending program to include more hotspots, data, and laptop computers to increase digital access in Wicomico County. In response to COVID-19, this lending program will support students, job seekers, and small business owners needing digital access to succeed and survive. The library currently has 20 hotspots, 15 of which are in circulation. To address community needs, the IT manager recommended purchasing 60 laptops, 40 hotspots, and increasing the library's data plan to support the hotspots for two years. The library will also develop a medium- to long-term solution to closing gaps in digital infrastructure, such as broadband, local network solutions, and providing access to devices.
The University of New Hampshire Durham will expand its open and interactive online empathy training module to include its target audience of library and museum leaders and workers across the nation. The module will highlight the experiences of marginalized populations who visit libraries and museums, provide tools for workers to minimize compassion fatigue, and provide strategies, exercises, and opportunities for social and institutional empathy to address social inequities in the wake of a global pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored structural and social inequities and has placed many ethnic and racial minority populations, who hold essential jobs and are unable to practice safe social distancing, at the front lines of infection risk. Libraries and museums, as centers of community, education, and exploration, must be equipped to respond empathetically and mindfully to their diverse communities as they begin to reopen their buildings while maintaining physical and virtual services amid the pandemic.
Dayton Metro Library will develop a short-term solution to address the digital divide. The library will partner with local internet providers to create a streamlined approach to connecting high-need families with home-based internet. This pilot program will position the library as a bridge between providers and up to 1,000 high-need, low-income households, while the larger region seeks to find long-term solutions for the greater internet infrastructure. The program will also retain six staff members currently furloughed due to the pandemic. In 2019, 539,000 hours of computer time were logged at library branches. This program leverages the unique strengths of the library, as a trusted community resource with excellent outreach capacity and skilled staff, to connect high-need community members with tools that provide them with greater access to information. The library will use applications submitted, households connected, and ongoing internet access as measurements for success.
The Queens Public Library will partner with Queens Defenders, a public defender organization, to recruit parolee participants and provide them with the information, skills, technology, and connections to resources needed to reintegrate successfully and avoid recidivism. The Immediate Access Technology Reentry Program will address parolees' unique transition from correctional facility to society during a pandemic. This program will assist 75 formerly incarcerated individuals over a two-year period. Participants will receive a smart phone, gain the experience and skills to use their phones to connect, and acquire digital skills, knowledge, and resources.
The High Desert Museum will launch a collaborative initiative with the Deschutes Public Library to create meaningful access to museum and library resources for families most impacted by COVID-19 in the community. Through an extensive partnership network of museums, libraries, and community organizations across central Oregon, the project will enable the museum and library to provide over 800 programs to approximately 2,000 families. The project team will design the family-centered programs to promote community healing and connection; advance STEM, literacy, and social-emotional skills necessary for academic and career success among pre-K-12 students; and continue the relevance of museums and libraries as community anchors by adapting programming and resources to the changing community context. Additionally, the distribution of tablets with data plans through these networks will help to bridge the digital divide and facilitate longer term engagement with museum and library resources online.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison will address a key challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic by developing tools and resources to help museum and library professionals design, implement, curate, and assess online learning resources. The project will address the lack of consensus on how best to select resources, facilitate activities, and reach disadvantaged families, especially those with limited or intermittent internet. The project team will survey and interview practitioners and families to understand digital divides and their impact on children's participation in online learning, how barriers are understood by educators, and how those barriers are being addressed. The project will analyze existing online learning resources offered by museums and libraries and develop templates, rubrics, and practitioner briefs that summarize best practices and lessons learned to help museum and library educators be more responsive to disadvantaged families and extend their educational programming to their whole community.
The Phipps Conservatory will preserve staff positions threatened due to pandemic-related revenue losses while mitigating community inequality in well-being and food-security through the digitization of plant-based science and humanities outreach programming. The conservatory will build a framework for digital learning and archive materials for future use by students and researchers through its horticulture reference library. The project will extend more than 300 new public digital opportunities and engage homegrown networks of 300 household raised-bed vegetable gardeners in urban food-desert neighborhoods as a vital community food supply of garden-fresh produce and community beautification, while increasing program participants' social and knowledge capital. The conservatory will also train up to 40 of its staff and more than 150 other botanic garden and museum educators by exchanging knowledge in onsite and online workshops for best practices in community outreach and e-learning.
The Ozarks Technical Community College will provide a laptop and hotspot lending program through its Hamra Library to students who need access to library resources or to complete their coursework. Students have limited access to computers and internet needed to complete their course work, which was exasperated during the COVID-19 crisis. Many of its students are either low-income or live in rural areas of the service district, making it hard to finish the semester without access to on-campus technology resources. The EagleTech Lending Program will maintain a supply of 20 laptops and 10 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the two-year pilot program. Last spring, the college converted all of its instruction materials to digital so they can be accessed online. Student feedback will guide program adjustments to better meet student needs. The program anticipates serving 200 students annually through laptop loans and 100 students annually through Wi-Fi hotspot loans, increasing utilization of library and online student resources and overall student satisfaction.
"Come for the Wi-Fi. Stay for the Wildlife" will establish the NC Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville as the location of the only free, high speed, wireless, public internet access in Columbus County. The project is designed to overcome the digital divide for county residents-where two out of every five lack home internet despite the availability of broadband. Visitors will be able to access the internet on their personal devices at a socially safe distance from others while learning to use it for expanding their knowledge about STEM and the natural world. Transforming the museum into a Wi-Fi hot spot will lessen the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission that could occur from the over-utilization of public computers, while providing connections to community resources related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting safer communications with external family members.
Memphis Public Libraries will increase public Wi-Fi access across its 18-branch service area, equip outreach vehicles to serve as mobile hotspots, and create a robust continuum of bilingual programs and resources to serve vulnerable residents. The library will preserve local history as it unfolds through its 901VOICES oral history program and upgrade its in-house television and radio station technology to keep the public better informed and educated about the pandemic and local resources. The library will also increase the types and quality of digital and in-person programs offered to meet the evolving needs of its community due to the pandemic. These additions and enhancements will benefit over 1.5 million people who visit the libraries every year, as well as over 300 staff members and over 350 volunteers.
To address the need to expand online learning opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virginia Association of Museums will create and expedite online learning programming that museums in the state can adapt to their current offerings. In partnership with the Virginia Department of Education and the Hanover History and Culture Museum, the association will launch the "Virginia Museums Expanding Online" project to help museums build their capacity to share their stories and content virtually. The association will also help museums employ simple digital tools to reduce barriers and enable discovery, as well as create a long-term infrastructure for online collections. Hanover County, a diverse community with urban and rural areas and several museums, will implement a pilot program to test selected digital platforms, training modules, and guidelines before the resources are broadly distributed.
After closing and laying off most of its staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Portland Children's Museum will reopen its doors in adherence to statewide reopening guidance. The museum will rehire its props specialist, custodian, human resources manager, and manager of equity and inclusion, which are considered essential positions for reopening the facility in the safest and most equitable manner. The museum will produce new safety policies and manuals; a COVID-19 response plan for recurring outbreaks; a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan; an employee handbook; and enhanced human resources documents and procedures. The museum will measure project success by tracking attendance of general visitors and visitors from targeted outreach ZIP codes; the percentage of positive social media responses regarding organizational safety; increased staff and board racial and ethnic diversity; and the implementation of follow-up actions resulting from community listening sessions.
The pandemic has exposed the fact that U.S. industries are lacking in employing adequate numbers of skilled workers able to respond to the high demand for services and goods related to keeping healthcare workers, patients and the general public, healthy and secure. The Hartford Public Library will join the effort to create and advance programs that expand economic opportunities for workers and their families while boosting local businesses' capacity. The library will create a virtual framework that identifies skills that are most valuable for the future, the businesses that will need them the most, the people who need work and can gain such skills, and the training and technology-enabled learning that addresses the unique challenges experienced by underserved segments of the population. In Hartford, the digital divide continues to be a pervasive issue. At least 20,000 households are without internet access. The library will deliver integrated digital and industry-certificate training focused on low-income adults enrolled or enrolling in a high school diploma or certificate training program. It will prioritize individuals residing in Hartford's federally designated Promise Zone, which encompasses one of the highest rates of poverty and digital exclusion in the region and nation.
History Nebraska will develop online educational materials to mitigate disruptions to traditional learning environments caused by COVID-19. Targeting fourth and 11th grade students in Title I schools statewide, History Nebraska's "Moving Curiosity Online" project will move the organization's curiosity-focused programming outside its physical walls and into schools. Intentionally designed for a digital environment, the new content will spark curiosity and fuel students' intrinsic motivation to learn. The project will support the salary for a new position of digital outreach educator, who will design and develop the inquiry-based curriculum incorporating the museum's collections.
Responding to the COVID-19 crisis, the Connecticut Science Center will create a digital infrastructure and body of content for use by school districts, families, and the public. The multi-faceted project will make virtual learning a permanent part of the museum's infrastructure. A new position of multimedia specialist will prepare, test, and operate multi-media equipment for virtual classrooms and outreach programming, as well as assist with technical support of in-house productions. The creation of a new app will enable an enhanced onsite experience for visitors and additional engagement when offsite. The museum will also update its exhibits to reflect content on virology and epidemiology and create programs that address the deep need for understanding of immunology, COVID-19, and the threat of other pandemics. The project will also include the creation of a digital library of resources and professional development for teachers.
The University of New Orleans learned from the 2005 levee failures the importance of creating a resilient campus. As part of its disaster preparedness plan, every college, department, and service unit on campus has developed business continuity plans to guide them. Unfortunately, the pandemic has exposed the gap between the university's workforce and students' transition to an online environment. When not on campus, students struggle with access to computers, printers, and strong broadband internet. The library will respond to the immediate technology needs revealed by the campus shutdown and develop solutions that will overcome the digital divide. The library will also focus on creating a sustainable partnership with the local internet provider for off-campus internet access.
In response to requests for online educational experiences from teachers and students in Arizona's rural schools, the Amerind Museum will produce 30 virtual classroom lessons and tours for elementary school educators using images, readings, videos, virtual field trips, and assessment tools. The lessons will focus on Amerind's Native American collection, advised by knowledgeable Native American cultural specialists, archaeologists, and historians, and produced by a curriculum specialist in alignment with Arizona's social studies standards. The lessons will be freely accessible on the museum's website. The museum will also provide teachers and schools in underserved school districts with trainings on the use of the materials through virtual meetings, one-on-one coaching, and three professional development workshops. The project is designed to address the loss of school field trip opportunities due to the COVID-19 health emergency.
The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach will bring essential services to students and adults in neighborhoods adversely affected by COVID-19 through its Mandel Mobile project. The Wi-Fi-enabled Mandel Mobile minivan will bring connectivity to families experiencing challenges due to lack of broadband access. The Mandel Mobile team will offer homework assistance and educational enrichment for youth, help individuals investigate free or reduced-price broadband internet plans, loan laptops and hotspots, provide ESOL evaluations and tutoring, and assist with job applications and resume building. Individuals and families in West Palm Beach will experience educational growth, career achievement, and increased acquisition of the English language. Mandel Mobile staff will collect data via Google Suite applications such as sheets and survey forms that will allow key staff to be able to review data in real time.
Destin Library will offer a variety of new services that assist patrons and staff with minimizing personal interactions and increasing on-site internet access. Technology upgrades include a self-service tablet checkout station housing six Samsung Galaxy tablets with Wi-Fi internet connections, installation, three-year software license, and professional services, as well as a radio frequency identification device self-service kiosk, staff workstations, an inventory device, gates, and mobile library checkout app for smart phones. These services will address the need for the library to supply computer and internet access and maintain the social distancing guidelines for the personal health and safety of its patrons.
The Palo Alto City Library will lead a collaborative partnership between itself, the Palo Alto Art Center, and the City of Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo to build capacity in developing and implementing virtual programming and events that meet the expressed needs of its community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The "Onsite to Virtual: Expanding Access to Community Learning Resources" project will start with an in-depth staff training in digital content development with the Mid-Peninsula Media Center and result in the creation of a digital playbook of best practices for virtual programming that can be employed by museums and libraries across the country. The library and its partners will also increase its digital offerings by 25 percent.
In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will adapt its mobile makerspace program to deliver STEM education to 45,000 youth from diverse, at-risk populations with high rates of poverty and lower rates of educational attainment. The museum's TECH Truck Program consists of three mobile makerspaces providing hands-on, interactive STEM-based experiences focused on skills such as creative problem solving, iterative design, and technological literacy. Currently designed for community-based educational activities in large group settings, the museum will convert these programs to in-person and virtual formats that require minimal handling of materials by more than one person and increased social distancing capabilities for the comfort and safety of participants. The program is designed to help tackle educational inequities by bringing hands-on STEM education activities directly to communities in the North Texas region.
Chapel Hill's "Whenever, Wherever, Whyever: Expanding Technology Access" program will address the community's ongoing need for public computing services and the challenges of providing these services during a pandemic. Even in a growing college town such as Chapel Hill, many residents do not have regular, reliable access to computers and internet in their households. This initiative will focus on patrons who do not have sufficient computer and internet access at home, including job seekers, low-income residents, and historically marginalized populations. The library will bring computers, Wi-Fi, and assistance directly to the community by creating a robust laptop lending program, paired with increased Wi-Fi at public facilities and in communities of need.
The Texas Historical Commission will implement a multi-layered project to create an accessible remote-learning format for its historic sites and museums while also addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on staff who manage these facilities. The program will address the need for distance learning content by creating educational and interpretive programming that is available on a platform accessible to users with varying levels of access to online content. The project team will also create a crisis and trauma management toolkit to help site staff deepen their understanding of and develop a response to trauma, healing, and community resilience. In addition, the project will produce a virtual exhibit space and a "memorial" for sites that can be used to explore shared trauma/crisis experiences with their communities. Project resources will be digitally available to other historic sites, museums, and public places.
In response to high unemployment brought on by COVID-19, the Evanston Public Library's "Ready to Work: Bridging the Digital Divide for Tomorrow's Workforce" program will provide access to technology and resources that help patrons build the necessary skills to be job ready. The program will represent a cross-departmental collaboration between the Lifelong Learning and Literacy, Innovation and Digital Learning, and Community Engagement departments. The library will provide targeted supports, including Ready-to-Work Starter Kits that will help close the digital divide, basic computer skill building through classroom courses and one-on-one sessions with Tech Tutors, skill building online tools that individuals are not able to afford themselves, and resource information to promote digital literacy.