The Norwalk Public Library and the Discovery Museum of Bridgeport today announced a new collaboration to enhance science awareness at the Library during the summer for children in grades 2 and above based on interactive science activities utilizing themes arising from the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo moon landing.

The partnership kicks off with an Engineering for Space event at the Norwalk Public Library on Belden Avenue on Saturday, June 15 at 3pm when Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling will introduce students in grades 2 and up to a live demonstration of the amazing innovations and life support that a space suit provides showcasing the fascinating engineering challenges and solutions for exploring the frontier of outer space.

On Sunday, June 16 at 1pm in the main library’s first floor Studio One “maker space,” library and museum staff will open the partnership’s hands-on rocket launching program. Students and other library visitors will have the opportunity to engage with Discovery Museum staff in the Engineering Design Process of asking questions, brainstorming solutions, building prototypes, testing, evaluating, and redesigning their own paper rockets.

The rocket launching program will run for 10 weeks through August 25. The program will move to the South Norwalk Branch Library for the last two weeks in August.

“Our new partnership with the Discovery Museum represents an unprecedented expansion of the library’s hands-on science programming offered to Norwalk students by bringing the expert staff and extraordinary space-related exhibits of the Discovery Museum within easy reach of Norwalk families,” said Alex Knopp, President of the Library Board. “This new collaboration serves both of our institutions by bringing new resources into the library at a modest cost and by introducing a broader audience in southwestern Connecticut to the Museum.”

“To win the competition for tomorrow’s jobs, our kids need to have a strong science education background,” said Bill Finch, Executive Director at the Discovery Museum. “That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with the Norwalk Public Library on this important initiative. It’s not only an opportunity for kids to learn critical skills for the future, but also to learn about our nation’s storied history with space exploration and travel. That’s a win-win.”

The participating “student engineers” will be challenged to identify the best materials for the problem at hand and to find creative solutions that will allow them to optimize their rocket’s flight, whether using a powered air launcher or their own launching power. Students and their families will learn about the engineering process as well as basic rocket science concepts that will allow them to be successful in building and launching miniature rockets.

“We look forward to a summer of science exploration at the library,” said Norwalk Librarian Christine Bradley.

Program hours will run from 11am-7pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 1pm-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-5pm on Tuesdays, and 2pm-6pm on Fridays from June 16 through August 25 at the Norwalk Public Library.

“We always seek partnerships with different organizations and adding exciting new programs,” said Vicki Oatis, Children’s Librarian in Norwalk. “Bringing a hands-on science experience to the library is a great way for us to branch out and open up a whole new world to curious young minds.”

thumb_New Partnership for Discovery Museum and Norwalk Public Library