Sunday, December 14, 2014

Did you know that 50% of all businesses fail within the first four years of operation? That’s a tough number for any entrepreneur or small business owner. In the non-profit sector, it is common to hear how we should operate more like a business. Nonprofits fill an important role in our community that goes beyond selling products We serve you and your neighbors with hands-on science learning and fun family experiences! Thank goodness HSC did not fail in its first four years, and has thrived for the past 20!

Individuals invested with us in the beginning to see HSC grow from an idea into a fully formed science center, hosting 25,000 annual visitors and executing top-notch educational programs, both at HSC and across our region. We count on annual giving to continue the investment in hands-on and fun science engagement in Northwestern Minnesota. We had awesome support on Give to the Max Day, a statewide day of giving, and we really appreciate your investment in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for our communities. Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to HSC this year and invest in our future .Gifts of $100 or more are recognized on our donor wall – where HSC grows drop by drop!

We’ve grown a lot since our formal opening in 1994, and now we want your input as we plan for the future. What would you like to experience when visiting Headwaters Science Center? What comes to mind when you think about a science center or museum? Is there something HSC could do more or less of? Those are questions we ask as we celebrate 20 years and look forward to our next decade. A team of students at Bemidji State University is working with me and Richard Roth, an HSC board member, to analyze results from a recent survey where we asked people what they know about us and what they would like to see in the future. Some people indicated they would like to see a new exhibit, for others more programs for adults are a top priority, and for others, later hours are a priority. If you want to add your voice to the conversation, you can access our survey via Survey Monkey using a link on our website - Thank you for investing in Headwaters Science Center!

 Susan Joy

Friday, October 10, 2014

Give to Max Day Coming November 13

 CONNECT with Headwaters Science Center on Give to the Max Day with a donation, large or small. Help us power-up our facility and programs so we can continue to inspire all ages about the wonders of science.

With over 25,000 visitations annually, HSC makes a difference in the lives of people. In this place science learning is transformed by alternate ways of thinking about our natural and physical universe.

But. . . .

The cost of running a science center is shocking and we need your financial support to energize our goals. About one-third of our operating income is from donations and gifts - we receive no public funding.

 With your donation you will provide the power we need to achieve our mission! Note that you can hard wire your donation by selecting "ongoing payments."

Watt Happens When You Connect?          fundraising connection

               $1000 -  Provides a megawatt of power for science education
               $500  -   Amps up the potential of science education
               $50    -  Electrifies HSC programs with 50 watts of power
               $25    -  Jolts kids to be the next Sir Isaac Newton or Thomas Edison
               $10    -  Creates a spark to make big things happen

             Don't be a resistor, be a transformer and amplify your donation on Nov 13.

 Please make a generous contribution to Headwaters Science Center to further the cause of hands-on science education in northern Minnesota.The blue button will take you directly to our secure site for making a quick, easy and safe donation.

Of course, you can always donate anytime online (the donate button works fine for that) or by check or cash.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday Science September 20th

The topic for Saturday Science on Saturday September 20th at Headwaters Science Center 2:00-3:00 pm is all about setting up and maintaining a salt water reef tank. The Northern Minnesota Reef Club will make the presentation. This group was instrumental in helping HSC set up and maintain the remarkable 210 gallon "living reef", a popular exhibit at the Center.

Most aquariums contain fish and plants that normally occur in tropical freshwater environments. They are relatively easy to set up and maintain and the inhabitants are not all that fussy about conditions in the tank. Reef aquariums, on the other hand, contain organisms found in the shallow environments of the oceans and usually include very colorful fish, corals, sponges and some really weird looking creatures. These organisms are very sensitive to temperature, water chemistry and light. Slight changes in salinity or Ph., for example, may cause everything to die out. The reef aquarium hobbyist must be very attentive to these matters, and requires having an array of filters, pumps, heaters, coolers and lights to keep everything just right. Coral reefs around the world are disappearing due to pollution and global climate change.

The 210 gallon reef tank at Headwaters Science Center is alive with living animals from sponges to colorful fish.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Odd Couple at Headwaters Science Center

In the lower left corner of the 210 gallon living coral reef at HSC you can observe a remarkable life story about two quite different animals that have evolved a unique symbiotic partnership.

A small fish, called Watchman Yellow Goby, shares a den in the sand with a small invertebrate called a Pistol Shrimp. They share the living space and food they capture. The shrimp is mostly blind and serves as the construction engineer, maintaining the den and constantly rearranging small pebbles to protect the den from predators. The goby is the guard, warning of any approaching danger with a flick of the tail. Both can disappear into their hole in a flash if danger approaches.

You can watch it all happen in real time. But you must be patient and quiet, any sudden movement and the alarm will be sounded by the goby.

We are trying to name the odd couple. Suggested names so far: Symbi and Osis, Darwin and Wallace, and Oscar and Felix. Any more suggestions?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Message From Susan Joy

Summer is right around the corner! What plans do you have to enjoy the warmer days ahead? HSC has lots of exciting plans for the summer, including our summer street party “Bodies in Motion,” five awesome summer camps, exciting Saturday Science activities, and a new exhibit on loan from our friends at the Duluth Children’s Museum. Oh - and don’t forget to take us with you when you travel this summer! Did you know that your HSC membership card provides reciprocal admission benefits to more than 350 other science centers and museums through the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) passport program?

Start the summer off with fun activities during “Bodies in Motion” on June 7th from 11 am to 1 pm on 4th Street between Beltrami and Minnesota in downtown Bemidji. “Bodies in Motion” will be a fun street fair with lots of great activities for all ages. This event is free to attend, but tickets will be sold for some of the activities and games. It’s not too late to register for one of our five amazing and awesome summer camps, including Morphed from Camp Invention, Engineering Innovations, Storm Chasers (hosted jointly with BSU), Tots-n-Science Camp, and Discovery Camp. Our website has all the details––including information on scholarships.

“Nano– Imagine and discover a world you can’t see!” is a new engaging exhibition for family audiences about nanoscale science, technology, and engineering. Join us to imagine and discover the nanoscale world—a world so tiny it’s too small to see! We would like to give a special thank you to the Duluth Children’s Museum for loaning us the Nano exhibition. It is a great way to learn more about this small science and, best of all, it will be at HSC all summer long!

See you soon!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Headwaters Science Center presents: Saturday Science featuring Phenology with John Latimer

Headwaters Science Center, 413 Beltrami Ave NW, will host John Latimer on Saturday, April 19th from 2 to 3:00 pm for Saturday Science.   Saturday Science is FREE with paid admission and FREE for HSC members.

John will discuss phenology -  the study of biological life cycles as they relate to seasonal changes. He is the staff phenologist for KAXE/KBXE Northern Community Radio and hosts a weekly phenology program.

This program is suitable for all ages and weather permitting, some activities will occur outside.

The Headwaters Science Center (HSC) was founded in 1994 to provide hands-on science and technology exploration in northern Minnesota.  HSC is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission "to provide intellectual stimulation and enjoyment for children, adults, and educational organizations in northern Minnesota using hands-on science and technology exhibits and programs.”

pasque flower
The Pasque Flower is the true harbinger of spring, being the first
 wild flower to appear in northern Minnesota habitats.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

HSC Raffle Launched on March 8th

Headwaters Science Center raffle for 2014 was launched on March 8 and will end on August 30. Tickets are $10.00 each with a chance to win great prizes. Make your connection today!

Tickets are available at HSC or from any Board member. Participants must be at least 18 years old. You do not need to be present on date of drawing. Winner is responsible for any shipping from Bemidji, MN.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5th Annual e-cubed Dining Experience February 22, 2014 - Be there!

Enjoy the 5th annual upscale dining experience at Headwaters Science Center featuring the art and science of food. Magnificent food buffets, live music, and HSC's own incomparable science entertainment will fill all 3 floors of the Center, with another dessert spectacle to cap off the evening. Social hour begins at 5 pm.

Our downstairs "pub" will once again feature jazz and a cash bar, and in our continuing effort to "one-up" last year’s experience, e-cubed 2014 boasts a signature cocktail with one offered free to each ticket holder. We have appropriately named this drink the Sliderule because it’s secret formula is adjustable to make it suitable for all phases of the dinner from appetizers to dessert.

The dining experience will feature the extremely exquisite ethnic fare that is cooked live on site and served by talented local chefs. Live music and our usual HSC flair support an atmosphere that can only exist in an exhibit hall transformed to elegance!

Tickets are $45 and on sale now, available only at Headwaters Science Center. If you’d like tickets mailed to you, please call HSC at (218) 444-4472 and give a credit card number, or mail us a check.

This year’s epicurean delights will be provided by:

  • Brigid’s Pub
  • BSU Catering Services
  • Cattails Bar & Grill
  • Harmony Co-op
  • Inharvest
  • Novo Restaurant
  • Tutto Benet
  • Wild Hare Bistro and Coffeehouse
  • Minnesota Nice Cafe
  • Perkins
  • Raphael's Bakery

Please thank and support our sponsors for this year's event!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Susan Joy Reports

Happy New Year to all our members, supporters, and friends! What an amazing year we had at HSC. New programs, new exhibits, the return of Camp Invention, adding social media channels, and new paint! Wow, we were busy - and we did it all for you! What can we do in 2014 to keep up the great momentum? I’d like to start by saying thank you to everyone who made a gift to HSC in 2013, whether you chose to give online on Give to the Max Day, or gave through our end of year letter, or by attending one of our special events. Your support is critical to the success of our science center!

A science center is an expensive endeavor––one that is very worthy of your support. As a non-profit, we rely on multiple sources of revenue to keep the doors open and our costs low. Did you know that it costs $817 dollars a day to run HSC? That sounds like a lot of money! And yet, what is the return on that investment? According to a 2012 University of Minnesota tourism study, visitors to Minnesota museums spend $24.53 per person above the cost of admission on food, gasoline, lodging, and amenities in the local community. Statewide, that was over $53 million dollars generated in tourism revenue!

What about the opportunities that children and youth have in our region because of our awesome science center? Hands-on and fun science experiences are what we do best at HSC. We provide the spark that can lead to a career in computer programming, manufacturing, biotechnology, crop science, or wildlife biology. For $817 per day, our community has a resource that generates revenue back into our area and provides opportunities for our children and youth on par with those in larger metropolitan areas. It doesn't sound like that much money after all!

If you made a gift to HSC last year, thank you. You made a difference. The breakdown of our 2013 revenue is shown below, and more details will be coming soon in our 2013 annual report.