While today’s best minds and critical thinkers are diligently working on addressing our global crisis, many kids, families, volunteers, and groups from within our local community are doing their part to help out. We’re celebrating these community helpers, starting with two of our inspiring volunteers. 

Carol has been volunteering with The Works Museum for 6 years and serves as a member of our board. She supports us in countless ways, including volunteering at many of our events.

As a ‘Traffic Director’ at Girl Time, she had a special opportunity to interact with the participants and their grown-ups. She remembers listening to what was happening in the classrooms and watching the female engineers, girls, mothers, and grandmothers asking questions, learning together, and having a truly meaningful, engaging shared experience. “Listening to their conversations you could hear so much excitement and curiosity… I can hardly wait to share the experience with my six grandchildren.”

She also volunteered at one of our Tech Take Apart events and was amazed by how much fun the staff and children had taking things apart and seeing how they work. “I especially loved seeing the serious look on their faces – so open – everything is exciting and new!”

Jerry has been volunteering with The Works Museum for nearly 20 years. He has been an integral part of the growth of our community and special events. “The Works is one of my favorite places and I have lots of wonderful stories about volunteering there. I helped to organize the first TechFest in 2005 and haven’t ever missed one since.”

Here are a few of his favorite memories:

Goldy at TechFest

This is my niece and nephew along with Goldy the Gopher, the University of Minnesota mascot. It represents a special collaboration between The Works and the University of Minnesota, College of Science & Engineering.

Built-it Bash

Our group had all of the templates to cut out and construct the Eiffel Tower from cardboard. Unfortunately, we used very poor time management and had to scramble to put it together. We engineered a few shortcuts and ended up with all of these pieces left over. A classic lesson in project planning!

Build-it Bash

Robot Day

My nephew bragged that he’d be good at this, which I, of course, didn’t believe. He turned out to be awesome at it. Who knew? Video game playing skills translate well into driving robots!

Hovercraft at TechFest

This is my relative’s son being assisted by a volunteer, my friend’s son. I didn’t expect a 3-year-old to be so engaged, but they really enjoyed Tech Fest and still talk about it when I see them at family reunions. These hovercraft were created by a professor from the University of Minnesota’s Aerospace Engineering department.

These community helpers ensure that tomorrow’s best minds are inspired by the possibilities of STEM and the many ways engineers and scientists make our world a better and safer place. Now, we find ourselves more grateful than ever for this persistent, optimistic community we’ve built. Please Join us in Optimism and tell us why The Works Museum matters to you, share your engineering at-home successes (and failures), join our staff in our #TasteOfTheWorksvirtual potluck, renew your membership, or if you are able, make a gift.

Donations made on our GiveMN page through May 8 may also help us win an hourly $250 – or daily $2500 – golden ticket as part of #GiveAtHomeMN. All contributions will go toward realigning our programming to meet the changing needs of the children, families, and educators we serve.