Recognizing Founder Rebecca Schatz


In July of 2015, Rebecca Schatz, The Works Museum’s founder, passed away following a long battle with cancer. Her passing is a great loss to our community and will be felt by the many people who had opportunity to know her or to benefit from her tireless passion for children and STEM education.

Rebecca started The Works in 1995 with the belief that children learn best through hands-on, minds-on exploration and experiences. She saw huge potential in every child, parent, educator, and employee who crossed her path, and found joy in sharing her love of discovery and learning.

Through Rebecca’s persistence and resourcefulness The Works grew, moving from borrowed spaces to a long-term home in the Edina Community Center and finally to our permanent space in Bloomington. She was a pioneer in engineering education, advocating for engineering and technology literacy at the elementary school level and encouraging access for underserved populations in engineering, particularly girls.

Rebecca moved on from The Works in 2012 and founded Code Savvy, a nonprofit designed to engage kids and teen in coding and programming. She also co-founded CoderDojo Twin Cities, a program of Code Savvy dedicated to providing kids free access to programming experiences, in 2013.

Thanks to Rebecca’s vision and hard work, hundreds of thousands of children and their families have and will experience engineering at The Works or coding through CoderDojo, often finding an interest in STEM they may not have discovered without early, kid-friendly, exposure.

Many of us in The Works Museum’s community had the pleasure of knowing Rebecca and personally experiencing her energy and commitment. It wasn’t uncommon to find her playing with children in the exhibits or popping into a camp or class to explore alongside the young engineers. She was a uniquely passionate and caring individual, and she will be missed.