The warm weather is finally here, which means it’s time for Summer Camps at The Works! We are so excited to get the ball rolling – we’ve got all your favorites and a few new camps thrown in the mix. If your kids haven’t participated in our summer camps before – we have a schedule of camps going the whole summer. From week long camps, to Friday Fun Days, to One-Day Camps – our staff is busy, busy, busy. That means every year we have the pleasure of taking on extra summer educators. Just look at how excited they are – ready for a summer of engineering fun!

Keep a look out for photos and videos on our social media in the coming weeks – we’ve got some seriously cool projects that the kids will be creating (think cardboard castles, LEGO robotics, catapults, and more).

So without further ado, I present to you, the 2017 Works Museum Best Ever Super Awesome Spectacular Summer Educator Team!

New Summer Educators


Cathy Eiss has been a fourth grade teacher at Poplar Bridge STEM Elementary for many years. Last summer, she participated in a rain forest ecology course for educators in Peru.


Lauren Pflughoeft is a recent biology graduate who was a Park Ranger Intern at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park and contributed to field research on restored prairie ecology.


Brandon Schwab has a STEM content teaching endorsement and recently graduated with his B.A. in elementary education.


Will Schar is in special education with Hopkins School District and has taught for the Science Museum of Minnesota and Tech Tac Toe. He has an improvisational storytelling podcast.


Sarah Trehey is a middle school science teacher, has taught science for a Boy Scout camp, and was a literacy tutor for Minnesota Reading Corps.

Oldies but Goodies (aka our year-round educators)


Martha Hotchkiss started her career at The Works in 2011, after 8 years in the elementary classroom as a Dual Immersion (Spanish/English) first and third grade teacher. Her experience includes 4 years as an organic farmer and vineyard worker, plus several seasons as an experiential and environmental educator to people ages 8 to 98 in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oregon. This reflects her love of the outdoors, especially in the form of canoeing, wildflowers, cycling, and cross country skiing. Her longtime hobbies are gardening and baking bread; more recent hobbies feature snowboarding and bow hunting.


Megan Bauer-Erickson has been at The Works since 2016, and has worked in education since 2009. She’s passionate about learning through hands-on experiences, and instructs wilderness expeditions too! With a degree in Sociology and Education, she strives to facilitate engaging and equitable workshops.



Korey Haynes is an astronomer-turned-educator. If you spot her around The Works, ask her about her favorite planet (hint: Mars is currently inhabited completely by robots!). She also writes about science, which led to her meeting astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon. Korey loves books, cooking, and hiking with her dog, Dessa. Her favorite thing about engineering is that there are many different paths to an answer that works.



Kristine Redinger graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with her K-6 teaching licensure and STEM Certification. Before The Works, she taught swimming lessons at Wise Swim School for six years. The idea of hands-on, minds-on learning is where her passion for STEM education developed. Her advice to young engineers: look at the bright side of everything. In her spare time Kristine loves to read, do puzzles, and be active. She enjoys doing anything that includes the great outdoors, such as hockey, snowboarding, hiking, swimming, biking, volleyball, etc. A fun fact about her is that she has seven brothers, three sisters, 24 nieces and nephews, and nearly 250 first cousins.



Sonia Krech-Jacobsen has been inspiring children at The Works Museum since 2003.  Her background in Sociology, Psychology and Early Childhood Education has given her a strong base for understanding kids of all ages. Sonia loves working with children and finding that balance between challenge and fun in the activities she plans.  Her family keeps her pretty busy with camping, soccer, dogs and home remodeling – but she also enjoys sneaking in time for books, tinkering, and sci-fi television & movies.  



Richard Pollard started working at The Works when it first opened up at the Bell Museum at the University of Minnesota. He started as an Electrical Engineering student in the work study program, and has been at The Works on and off ever since (this will be his seventh year in the latest streak!). Richard loves to make STEM fun and exciting for kids, and enjoys sharing that connection and learning experience with them. He has also developed and taught STEM curriculum for the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota.


And Our Not-to-Be-Outdone Visitor Experience Staff Who Will Also Be Assisting with Camps


Emilia Czapiewska is new to the works and just finished her first year of college at SDSU. She played varsity volley ball and studied general engineering. Her goal is to become an aerospace engineer.


Abby Cavanaugh just graduated from the Academy of Holy Angels and will be attending Macalester College in the fall. Abby has an undetermined major with a pre-med track. Abby has been working at the The Works since 2016.


Zane Gelin goes to Bloomington Jefferson High School and is going into his senior year. He plays football and Basketball.


Nikki Engelhart recently graduated from high school and plans to attend the University of Minnesota and study psychology in the fall.


Caroline Madsen is an elementary education major with endorsements in math and science. She will be going into her senior year at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.


Tim Zeien is a recent High School graduate. He will be attending the University of Minnesota in the fall to study Engineering.


Parthiv Krishna attends Minnetonka High School where he is the captain of his school’s FIRST Robotics Team, competes on the Alpine Ski Team, plays soccer, and plays violin in the school’s orchestra.

Summer Visitor Experience staff, including Visitor Experience Supervisors, Kaiya and Sarah (missing: Parthiv)