I’m humbled and honored to be selected as the next director of the Headwaters Science Center. I visited the center in January and instantly felt the support and dedication that Bemidji has for this unique institution and the staff who make the operation of the center possible. Laddie and Jim are amazing individuals, as are all the staff and board members that I had the opportunity to meet. Everyone I spoke to had the same message, HSC is a special place, and we are dedicated to its future. I too believe that the center is a special place and I’m excited about the possibilities and challenges that lie ahead.
I grew up on a farm in Idaho, in the skinny panhandle part of the state, and some of my favorite childhood memories include visits to science centers and museums. I visited the Pacific Science Center in Seattle as a Girl Scout and my troop participated in a Camp-In event. During the winter holidays, my family would take the train east to visit relatives. Layovers in Chicago could last more than four hours and to pass the time, we would visit one of the numerous museums within a short walk or cab ride from Union Station, such as the Field Museum with its amazing paleontology collection. In Pittsburgh, visits to the Carnegie Science Museum and Buhl Planetarium could last multiple days, and visits to Washington DC revolved around the numerous Smithsonian museums. Now that I’m a parent, I take my children to museums, including science museums, to give them the exposure to a world beyond their front porch, as my parents did for me as a child.
Children and adults who visit HSC are given an opportunity to experience science, technology, and mathematics in a way that is fun and not threatening. They are also given the opportunity to experience a place that small communities, and even medium sized communities do not have, and that is a true hands-on, minds-on science center. The center has come a long way in 20 years, from an idea shared between dedicated community members to a full-fledged center. I support the mission and vision of the center and the long-term goals of developing a new, larger facility, expanding educational capacity to include more engineering, technology and mathematic aspects in addition to developing innovative and challenging science based exhibits.
I love visiting science centers and museums, they hold a special place in my history, and now I look forward to working at a very important science center, the Headwaters Science Center. Please stop by and say hello, I look forward to meeting HSC members and the community!
(Note: Susan will start her work at HSC during the first part of June)