What’s the BIG Idea was developed with funding provided by the National Science Foundation. All of the content (activities, family programs, Discovery Centers) was first tested by 57 librarians from Houston Public Library, the state of Delaware, and the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System in upstate New York and new Vermont locations (Springfield and Bennington). These four systems provided a mix of libraries from large, small, urban and rural areas.
During the pilot phase these librarians engaged in four conferences focusing on ideas critical to children’s acquisition of basic math and science skills and concepts: Patterns and Relationships, Numbers and Operations, Change Over Time and Geometry and Spatial Sense. A National Advisory Panel informed the development of the program.
The participating librarians converted what they learned into hundreds of programs in local libraries using project-created informational resources, books, and hands-on materials. In addition, they enriched their circulating collections and outreach with kits for families. Available for purchase: What’s the BIG Idea? Librarian Starter Kit, Librarian Manual and family circulating kits.