The X of PLIX stands for “exchange”, and we’ve found many ways to work with our librarian partners to make sure that ideas go both ways between the MIT core team and those who are working directly with patrons at public libraries.
In 2020–21, PLIX launches a new program for PLIX Creative Learning Ambassadors. The first cohort of 25 Ambassadors—recruited from participants in our two “in-person” workshops (moved online due to the 2019–21 pandemic)—serve as advocates for creative learning in their local communities. These Ambassadors receive special support to take on a leadership role in their local community as well as in the online course which PLIX will roll out in spring 2022.
Ambassadors represent a diverse cohort along the following criteria:
- library size and context (e.g., rural, suburban, urban, tribal)
- service area (e.g., children, teens, adults, etc.)
- comfort level with STEM topics
In addition, Ambassadors translate their experience into developing new STEM programming initiatives in their communities. They can often be some of our first testers and early adopters of new and emerging PLIX activity designs. The materials we develop to train the PLIX Creative Learning Ambassadors will be published to enable other library systems to start their own ambassadors programs.
With funding from IMLS, the first cohort of Ambassadors will each receive a $1,000 honorarium for their time and participation, as well as additional support and training from the project team.