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Introduction to Advancing Leadership in Informal STEM Learning

Welcome back to the Rural Gateways learning community! Congratulations on completing the first six units of the professional development and implementing the the first four-part Pushing the Limits program series.
As a member of the Rural Gateways learning community, you will be building your programming and leadership competencies as you move through the next six professional development units. It promises to be an exciting learning adventure!

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    • Before we begin, let’s reflect on our experiences with the programs in our libraries. Download Reflections about the Pushing the Limits Programming Experience.
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The second phase of professional development will combine online learning activities with hands-on program development and community engagement activities over a twelve month period.
Let’s look more specifically at each unit and what you’ll be learning.

Note that the button on the bottom right of the video will make the video go to “full screen” mode. In full screen mode you will have the control at the bottom of the screen to advance and rewind. After viewing, you can select the esc key to escape full screen.

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  • With all of the videos in the series, the button on the bottom right of the video will make the video go to “full screen” mode. In full screen mode you will have the control at the bottom of the screen to advance and rewind. After viewing, you can select the esc key to escape full screen.
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Introduction, Video One
Introduction to Advancing Leadership in Informal STEM Learning

You’ll see that we are interspersing the professional development with the Pushing the Limits program scheduling, which is a different model than we used for the first PD and program series. In brief, you will begin by deepening your knowledge about ISL and libraries in Units Seven and Eight and then implement two Pushing the Limits programs, “Tradition” and “Transformation.” After you offer these programs, you continue to build STEM programming skills in Units Nine and Ten as you plan and implement two more Pushing the Limits programs, “Motion” and “Heritage.” Units Eleven and Twelve, which will begin after you have implemented the “Motion” and “Heritage” programs, will provide you with opportunities and directions to create additional ISL programs at your library.

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In preparation for offering the next four-part Pushing the Limits series:

    • Program Themes: Download Pushing the Limits: Rural Gateways Program Themes to read descriptions of the programs. arrow icons
    • Program Videos: View the four Science in Everyday Life program videos, which you can access in the Public Program Resources section of the website.
    • Program Books: For the first two Pushing the Limits programs in the series – “Tradition” and “Transformation” – you will be selecting the books for discussion from lists of recommended titles. You may want to review these titles now so that you can consider which two books might be the best fit for your library’s programs. The book lists are in the Public Program Resources section of the website. For the third and fourth programs in the series – “Motion” and “Heritage”, you will be selecting the program books on your own. We will use the Community of Practice to share book title ideas and suggestions.
    • Science Partner: Just as in the previous program series, you should plan to co-facilitate the programs with a science partner. You can work with the same person(s) or identify a new science partner. You may find it useful to review the document found in Unit Four, Strategies to Identify and Select Your Science Partner, as you consider the science partner(s) for the next program series. Viewing the professional development videos in Unit Four will also provide a good refresher about working with your science partner.
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