The Rural Gateways Project is helping to expand where and when people learn over the course of their lifetimes. By supporting librarians in rural communities abilities to build skills and confidence in developing and presenting science programming in collaboration with local experts, new science learning opportunities for adults are happening in areas with less access to traditional informal science education venues like museums and science centers. The Institute is conducting research for the project focused on understanding which elements of professional development might best contribute to individual librarians’ sense of self-efficacy in order to more effectively move librarians from someone who might be willing to deliver a pre-organized program, to someone who sees themselves as a science educator, capable of independently developing and implementing programs in their community. We are currently in the last year of this project, and publications should be completed by the end of 2020.
Project Team: Monae Verbeke Ph.D. David D. Meier M.S., Nicole Claudio and John H. Falk Ph.D.,