On December 22, 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope will launch into space! Using revolutionary and advanced technology, the infrared telescope will study every phase of cosmic history. Will the greatest questions on the origins of our universe finally be solved?
Get ready for this historic event at your library by directing curious patrons to reliable information. The launch also serves as the perfect opportunity to plan some fun STEAM programming virtually or in-person!
Things to know
The fastest, easiest way to get your patrons ready and informed on the launch and its historic significance is to post about it on your library’s social media pages. A quick idea is to follow the @NASAWebb Twitter account  to stay up to date and retweet onto your library’s page.
You can also check out these pages to share with patrons or to get acquainted with the telescope and launch details yourself:
- About the Launch 
- Preparing For Launch 
- Webb Space Telescope Official Website 
- Fact Sheet 
- Look Up! Explore Our Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Mission (free recorded webinar) 
STEAM program ideas
NASA@My Library Partner Libraries have been hard at work planning STEAM programs to coincide with the December launch. From virtual programs like St. Louis County Library’s collaboration with the St. Louis Astronomical Society  to in-person “rocket” launches at the Patchogue-Medford Library , your library can implement similar programming to get patrons excited about the launch and STEAM learning!
For a virtual program, check out the NASA@ My Library Beanstack Challenge . This reading and activities challenge is open to all U.S. public libraries and will run from December 1 to 31, 2021. Readers will have access to virtual NASA@ My Library and NASA resources to gain new skills and explore educational and career pathways in Earth and Space Science.
Here are some ideas for programming that can also be converted into take-home kits:
- The Expanded Universe: Playing with Time 
- Participants use balloons to model the expansion of the universe.
- Pinwheel Galaxy 
- Participants design and assemble their own galaxy.
- Life Cycle of a Massive Star 
- Using colored beads and yarn, participants create a visual representation of the life cycle of a massive star.
- Mission to Space Board Game 
- Download the PDF files to have your own game boards! Participants represent a team of scientists and engineers who will send a spacecraft on a space mission.
How will you celebrate this historic launch? Let us know in the comments below.