Tweens (10-12)




Young Adult





Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Event

On Saturday, July 20, 2019, a multinational crew of space travelers, including NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, arrived at the International Space Station. Their arrival marked the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic landing on the moon. NASA provided live coverage of the crew’s launch and arrival on their NASA TV YouTube page.

Guthrie Public Library celebrated by providing an assortment of STE(A)M activities and hosting a viewing of the NASA launch broadcast. More than 170 people attended the event, which was the first of its kind for our library.

Advanced Planning

Planning for this event started in October of 2018 when we began planning our 2019 Summer Reading Program. Our library’s adult, teen and youth services programmers, along with our supervising assistant director, made this event possible. 

It was our plan to host NASA-themed STEM activities every Monday of our Summer Reading Program, and then give participants at our Apollo 11 anniversary event a second chance to participate in the same activities from the Monday programs. (See fliers from each of our STEM Monday activities under Attachments at right.)


Our event was promoted via Facebook and Twitter, local newspapers, inserts included with water bills that are distributed city-wide, and word of mouth during our weekly Chamber of Commerce coffee events. (View a copy of the water bill insert under Attachments.)

The promotional efforts we made resulted in the library serving more than twice the number of patrons on the day of the Apollo 11 program than we usually would on a Saturday.


Our library was one of 75 awarded a NASA @ My Library grant from the Space Science Institute (SSI) and ALA in 2017, enabling us to host more STEM activities in our library. We used budget funds from the NASA @ My Library grant for our Apollo 11 event; this covered the materials for the event’s STEM projects and light refreshments.

It was also almost as if the Apollo 11 programming was a closet clean-out event, because we were able to use many materials we already had on hand. Using recycled and donated materials for events is always a cost-effective method in our library. 

Day-of-event Activity

The evening before our event, we made sure to connect our video teleconference screen in our main library area to eliminate technical troubles. 

All three of our library programmers, along with our assistant director, volunteer circulation clerk, plus a handful of our bubbly teen volunteers, showed up the morning of the event to set up STE(A)M activities and seating for the launch viewing.

Program Execution

Guthrie Public Library is divided into a main library plus a connected room we call the meeting room. We hosted the launch viewing in our main library and served refreshments. We held the STE(A)M activities in the meeting room, and also hosted a few more activities outside, due to content of the activity (yay for messy programs!).

More than 170 people attended this three-hour event, including many families. Participants learned a lot from the NASA Live YouTube channel, including details on the upcoming Artemis Launch. Many participants had never seen a live viewing of a manned NASA launch (and on a personal note, I am more than thrilled that it was a successful and SAFE launch, as there were many tiny and wide eyes viewing with us).

In addition to having a space-themed snack while watching the live launch event, participants were also invited to dive in to some hands-on activities, like building a ringed planet out of foam balls and old CDs, creating foam rockets out of pool noodles, creating galaxy-themed tie-dye t-shirts, and more. We set up tables in our meeting room with all of the activities that we'd presented throughout the summer at our STEM Monday events, including:

We also streamed the beginning of our event via Facebook Live to do some last-minute promotion and capture some of the activities we did.

Our library plans to host more events in the future where we bring our video teleconference screen into the main library (it is usually in the meeting room) and show NASA Live videos or other related events. It was one of the first of this kind of program at our library, and those that participated really seemed to enjoy the event and the information gained.


If you are handling a screened event, make sure you are set up the morning before, in case technical issues arise.

Supporting Materials

Slideshow Images