Grow your confidence in STEAM activities with PLIX!
The PLIX Team at the MIT Media Lab invites YOU to apply for our 2023-2024 Creative Learning Ambassador Program. From October 2023 through May 2024, you would be part of a cozy cohort, trying out creative STEAM activities, and learning about hands-on creative learning!
Whether you can 🪄create magic with paper, are ✂️ always running with scissors, OR can 🍰 entice 3D printers to do your bidding, we’re excited to get to know you and learn from the creative and playful ways you engage with your public library patrons.
- Curious and excited to bring more creative, hands-on (STEAM) programming to your library patrons!
- A library professional in a public library setting in the United States
- New to, or familiar with STEAM activities!
- A team of educators and researchers passionate about hands-on creative learning programming for all ages
- Deeply committed to developing creative STEAM learning programs that are accessible and inclusive
Together we will:
- Create a cozy cohort of library professionals who are excited to bring creative learning to our communities, library systems, and libraries across the United States
👉 Please note, previous STEAM experience is not required <3!
Our previous Ambassadors loved:
- 💗 Collaborating, creating, and sharing with fellow Ambassadors
- 📦 Trying out PLIX activities opportunities (and getting free materials)
- ✂️ Learning how creative STEAM activities are designed from the ground up
- 🎶 The music we play during our meetings (“Take my breath away” and They Might be Giants are some of our favorites)
- 🎖 Receiving professional recognition (certificate of program completion)
So come join us as an Ambassador—we look forward to getting to know you.
Learn more about the Ambassador Program
Here’s a 24-minute edited recording of one of our info sessions.
If you’re already familiar with PLIX and our creative learning pedagogy, you can start at the 12-minute, 10-second mark!
How do I know if I am qualified to be a Creative Learning Ambassador?
- Are you curious and excited to expand hands-on programming in your library? Do you like to learn and try new things? Are you interested in expanding STEAM offerings at your library? This could be a perfect fit for you!
What are the eligibility requirements?
- Ambassadors should be professionals working in (not just with) public libraries within the United States (including territories and bases).
How will I connect with other Ambassadors?
- The Ambassador Program includes regular monthly (virtual) gatherings with the cohort—to get to know one another, share updates and ideas, and discuss and plan potential activities
What exactly will I do as an Ambassador?
- Try out new PLIX activities with us
- Facilitate creative STEAM Workshops in your library based on PLIX activities
- Collaborate and connect with fellow Ambassadors
- Participate in the PLIX online community
- Invite colleagues to try creative STEM learning activities
- Sharing your work on creative STEM learning on social media, and at professional gatherings
- [Your ideas here!]
Is there funding available?
- Yes! We will provide materials and reimbursement for program supplies
What would my time commitment be?
- You will determine this depending on what kind(s) of project(s) you take on!
- We anticipate 1–2 hours per week—with PLIX or with your own community.
- The program runs from October 2023 through May 2024.
When will participants be announced?
- We’ll be sending out announcements the first week of October!
How many ambassadors are usually chosen?
- We are a small team and want to be supportive to everyone. For this cohort, we are looking to accept around 20 librarians.
Is this intended for all ages or focused on youth?
- Many of our activities have been used by children and teen librarians for ages 7 and up, sometimes as young as 5.
- Depending on Ambassador interests, PLIX activities can be adapted for all ages, including adults and older adults.
Would this programming be something that the whole family can participate in? My programming is for children 5+ and their relatives.
- Absolutely. Ambassadors will be able to choose the PLIX activities that fit the best needs of your library. Skills learned during the ambassador program will be highly transferable to already established library programming.
Are there age ranges on each program? Recent legislation has required MO librarians to put age ranges on everything.
- It is up to the Ambassador to decide the age range based on their confidence in working with the activity. We will help with this.
Do you have to accept the stipend? Our City Library system sometimes gets particular about grants/stipends and such from outside the city.
- No. We recognize the stipend can be tricky to accept due to library rules. We’ll send the materials directly to you and will work with Ambassadors to determine the best option.
Our programming has to be planned 4-6 months in advance. What will the timeline look like for supplies and workshops?
- We plan to be very flexible during the program and provide a wide variety of ways to figure the programming out and how to make it happen.
- For example, if you have to plan 4 months in advance, you can run workshops alongside summer reading plans.
What if we get super busy, we have two major programs between Oct-May, and are unable to meet the weekly requirements?
- The requirements are not weekly, but, rather, monthly. There will be a required monthly meeting that is 90 minutes to learn and be with others.
- We also offer an unstructured monthly social hour to get to know and play with other ambassadors. There are many opportunities Ambassadors can choose to participate in.
- We expect about 6-8 hours a month.
If this isn't something I can participate in now, but would be interested in participating in later, will there be future opportunities to be an ambassador?
- We hope to run the program every year but that is not determined at this time. Our activities and workshops available on our website are always free to all regardless of participation in the ambassador program.
What about a library director who also wears the youth, teen and adult librarians hats, in other words, the solo professional?
- We welcome library professionals from all backgrounds to apply for the program.
Will there be specific requirements as far as assessing our experience with programs we implement?
- There are no specific requirements. If you are not someone that does the programming, the Ambassador program may not be a good fit. We expect Ambassadors to document their experience in the program.
Have you had very small communities involved? Our town has a population of 92.
- We work with many rural and tribal libraries that vary in size. Your community size will not have a negative impact on your application.
How many programs are we expected to run as part of the ambassador program?
- We plan to introduce one activity in each monthly meeting. We ask that Ambassadors try at least 1 activity directly in their community, and document and share out your experiences.
- Past ambassadors ran 1 activity in their library and also beta-tested new activities. The program also offers many opportunities we hope Ambassadors would take advantage of.
You previously mentioned that you would support Ambassadors introducing PLIX to their library system. Could you outline what this would look like?
- This varies based on personal preferences and excitements. Ambassadors might introduce PLIX (and our creative learning pedagogy) with interested library staff in your city or library system. We have resources from past ambassadors that can be remixed for this.
- This could also look like sharing a PLIX activity with coworkers.