Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You are Invited to A Celebration on January 13!

For a generous outpouring of support during the last two months of fundraising, everyone at Headwaters Science Center wishes to say, Thank You to people in the Bemidji region who "Gave Ten", gave more, gave again, gave on-line, gave anonymously, gave for the first time . . .

You all helped to meet our challenging goal that will help HSC continue to grow and move forward. The public is invited on Friday, January 13, 5:30-7:00 pm and will include refreshments, free admission to the exhibit floor and a chance to learn more about this exciting time of transition. Please come and help us celebrate!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Update For "I Gave Ten" Fundraiser

We did it! Our first goal of raising at least $40,000 by December 15 was accomplished. The total as of December 15, 2011 is $41,092, and still counting. This means the $40,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor will kick in, raising the total to $81,092.

The response from folks in northern Minnesota and, indeed, around the country was impressive. For the thousands of kids and adults that visit and learn at HSC every year, THANK YOU. Your generosity is truly appreciated.

While we have enough cash to keep the doors open and to support a new executive director, this fundraiser is not over with. Our stated goal is to raise $100,000 by December 31, 2011. If you have not contributed, please do so now .

The future of our country depends on a cadre of trained scientists and technicians; HSC often provides the spark that ignites that latent fire of wonderment and enthusiasm for science and technology. Let’s keep the fires burning!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What HSC Really Means

Kinetic Sculpture Exhibit
  As children growing up we all understood how a teeter-totter worked. We understood concepts of balance, mass, leverage, and gravity. We just didn’t know it. As an adult I’ve always believed the lever is by far the most useful device ever discovered. Such a simple notion, but I’ve used makeshift levers to help with many a task from household cleaning to moving boulders. Modern-day inventors have even capitalized on this idea to sell simple and inexpensive ways to move furniture.

At the Headwaters Science Center in Bemidji, my favorite exhibit is the Kinetic Sculpture––a grand and fascinating piece of art that displays simple machines at work. The game of Mouse Trap that we used to play is a small example of this kind of design, but the Sculpture at HSC presents the concept on a magnificent scale. It is 10’ high and, through it’s winding wire framework, small balls travel around paths and twirl, whirl, drop, and are catapulted here and there by an array of simple mechanisms until they reach the bottom, only to be lifted by a long hoisting device until they again reach the top. It is a continuous cycle. Each little machine is fascinating onto itself, but as a group they create a work of moving art that is mesmerizing and relaxing to watch.

The front window at HSC now displays a playground. It is an appropriate environment demonstrating the idea of “hands-on” science, or learning through play. At the center of the display is a teeter-totter indicating the progress of the current fundraising blitz that will bring in funds to pay a salary for a new director. The “I Gave Ten” idea is elementary: $10 from 4,000 people will bring in the better part of a director’s salary for a year. It’s a simple concept, but one that can accomplish a mighty task. Watch the teeter-totter move as donations come in and––if you wish––come to HSC and play!
Check out their web site at and make an on-line donation, stop in, mail it (413 Beltrami Ave), or call and donate with a credit card (218-444-4472).

Julie Bengtson