Blount County Public Library has been selected to be one of nine sites in the nation to host Discover Earth: Our Changing Planet, a national traveling exhibition exploring the fascinating world of earth science.
Discover Earth: Our Changing Planet explores Earth’s ever-changing physical and biological systems using stunning media and interactive experiences. Earth science topics in the exhibit include topics such as short and long-term time changes, the differences between weather and climate, and what it means to be a steward of our amazing planet.
The exhibition will be displayed at the library from February 6 through April 27. Blount County Public Library will also offer a related series of public events to bring STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming to children, teens and adults.
The Grand Opening and kick-off event will be on Saturday, February 6, at 2 p.m. Mike Maslona, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ranger, will give a presentation “National Park Service – 100 Years Old” describing the mission of the National Park Service, in its 100th anniversary year, to conserve over 400 diverse park units throughout the United States and their rich natural and cultural history while also providing for their enjoyment unimpaired for future generations.
Other presentations during the exhibit for adults and children of all ages include:
- Reporting the Weather by WATE-TV meteorologist, Matt Hinkin, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 20.
- The Natural History of Southern Appalachia by Dr. Paul Threadgill, Biology Professor at Maryville College, on Monday, February 29, at 7 p.m., as part of the Southern Appalachia Studies Series.
- Homestead Education by Jeff Ross, Garden Manager at Blackberry Farms, on Saturday, March 19, at 2 p.m.
- Earliest Human Settlement of Southern Appalachia will be presented on Monday, March 28, at 7 p.m. as part of the Southern Appalachia Studies Series.
- Bear Rescue by a speaker from Appalachian Bear Rescue on Saturday, April 2, at 2 p.m.
- A concluding hands-on environmental event will occur, with more details to be announced in the near future.
“We are proud that Blount County Public Library was selected to be one of nine places nationwide to host the Discover Earth exhibit,” said K.C. Williams, Library Director. “We think people of all ages and backgrounds will find that the exhibition explores earth science in a way that is engaging, inspirational, and timely.”
Getting people, especially our youth, interested in science can be a challenge. Discover Earth strives to make it fun with hands-on, multimedia activities on topics such as wild weather events, our changing ecosystems, and the global view of Earth.
The Discover Earth exhibition will focus on earth science topics—such as the differences between weather and climate, water cycle effects, and ecosystem changes. Discover how local environmental changes impact our global environment. The exhibit is divided into three areas: A) Our Changing Planet, B) Ecosystems: The Web of Life, and C) Environmental Change at Home. Exhibit components incorporate personal narratives, stunning graphics, video, animations, and simulation-based educational games.
When visiting the exhibition, plan to spend at least one to two hours or plan several visits. Because there are many interactive exhibits, plan sufficient time to explore the numerous topics and sciences.
The exhibition is free and open to the public during library hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Discover Earth: Our Changing Planet was developed by Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL), the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and the Afterschool Alliance. This project was made possible through support from the National Science Foundation. It is a part of NCIL’s STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net).
Open to the public, this program is hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blounttn.org/197.