SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –A Springfield Library gets a unique honor, it was chosen from libraries nationwide to get a traveling space exhibit.

The Library Center applied for a grant through the National Science Foundation.

The national traveling exhibition investigates the fascinating world of space, science and astronomy while showing the younger generation the value of STEM.

The NASA -funded exhibit empowers  students like Braden Harshman who is furthering his education through interactive games.

“Whenever we stop by I’m always just like mom can we get out cause I want to come over here because I mean there’s a lot of stuff,” says Harshman.

Some of that stuff includes a game of golf on a touch screen that demonstrates magnetic force.

“It’s really cool I mean there’s always something different from when you come once and the next time.”

Nancee Dahms- Stinson is the Youth Services Director at the Library Center. She tells KOLR10, “There’s different ways to approach it with different ages, but certainly when their imagination and their curiosity gets started we don’t want to stop that.”

“It explores the solar system, explores solar storms and their impact on our life, it explores our exploration of other worlds that might be habitable both inside and outside our own galaxy.”

Librarians hope this exhibit will pique young people’s interest in STEM: science, technology, engineering and math.

“Economically they’re more jobs in those fields then any other fields. We need to make sure that we have a workforce that can fulfill that need. Our workforce are our kids.”

For mom Kelli Williams, “I feel like it’s home away from home, but more fun and exciting.”

Having these activities available enhances her children’s learning experience.

“Each of my children learn in a different way and I feel like it meets their needs and appeals to their learning style.”

Williams hopes her kids will keep this hands-on stem learning alive beyond the temporary exhibits.

“Whether they take ahold of it and run or whether they save that for later it will appeal to them at some point in their life and I feel like they’ll be able to draw upon that.”

The library hasn’t done a lot of programming in the STEM field, 

“Honestly, just because we’re a literacy institution doesn’t mean we can’t support that,” explains Stinson. But Stinson saw a need and an excitement for STEM.

“We are an informal educational institution and all the things they can find in books, and our other resources support their learning in those fields.”

Stinson says she’s excited to have the traveling exhibit during this time because August 21st is the solar eclipse and it will be the first time in decades that it has made that transcontinental trek all the way across the U.S.

She adds the exhibit is open to the public through August 4th.

Click Here: For more information about the explore space traveling exhibit 

The Missouri and The Great War exhibit is at the Library Center through Saturday, June 17. It’s up for a sneak peek preview before it travels to the Capitol in Jefferson City for a formal opening reception on July 11.

After the exhibit, it will travel to universities and other public buildings through 2017-2018, and return to Springfield for an extended exhibit in November 2018.