Fleet Science Center position highlights:
Development and management of family programming, and teaming with other department members to develop school programming. This included workshops, outreach programs, the in-house Challenger Learning Center, summer camps, and Girl Scout Badge programs.
Specialized in creating opportunities for families to enjoy informal science education. This included the creation and hosting of hands-on science experiments during the weekend in the exhibit galleries, both public and corporate Challenger Learning Center missions, planetarium shows, astronomy days, and weekend talks.
Family programs included responsibility for hosting the only behind-the-scenes night-time tours of Palomar Observatory, tours which sold out within hours each year and gained wide national publicity.
Astronomy Days included partnering with local astronomy groups to offer solar and night-time telescope viewing opportunities, and placing a scale model of the solar system across the entire park.
One special program, “Celebrating Women Scientists,” looked at the life and work of a different woman scientist each day and allowed participants to replicate some of their experiments.
The Weekend Talk series involved creating a special talk at least once per month by a notable science speaker, keeping the event fun, hands-on, and as interactive as possible.
Talks included facilitating the following organizations to create exciting and dynamic presentations:
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, The Birch Aquarium, UCSD Department of Psychology, UCSD Organic Detector Laboratory, SDSU Department of Geosciences, The San Diego Supercomputer Center, The Fusion Division of General Atomics, SPAWAR Systems Center, The Mars Society, The Orange County Space Society, The San Diego Astronomy Association, US Fish and Wildlife Service, YMCA, Project Wildlife, Barona Museum and Cultural Center, National Wildlife Federation, San Diego Zoo, The Elementary Institute of Science, The Monarch Butterfly Program, Bat Rescue, San Diego Natural History Museum Environmental Science Education Center, Sociedad Astronómica de Baja California, National Speleological Society, San Diego Area Rocket Team, Dark Sky Association, Oasis Intergenerational, and Ocean Imaging Corp.
Plus noted individuals including Pulitzer-nominated science author Timothy Ferris, Challenger Center founder June Scobee Rogers, space scientist and artist William Hartmann, author Nancy Conrad, John Spencer, president of the Space Tourism Society, astronauts Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Tom Stafford, Walt Cunningham, Joe Allen, Bob Parker, and Jim Newman.
Special talk series were also created in partnership with:
-NASA / JPL to bring JPL scientists to the science center.
-Scripps Institution to allow scientists to present their findings to public audiences and thus obtain greater NSF funding.
-Salk Institute to allow patrons access to DNA analysis through hands-on experimentation.
Working with marketing specialists, graphic artists, printers, and mailing houses to ensure the creation and distribution of all education department promotional materials, including brochures designed for teachers and members, and brochures and flyers for the public. Working with the same team and magazine representatives to create advertisements in local and national magazines, and internationally prominent web sites. Teacher materials included ensuring all programs were aligned to California State Standards and that these were clearly explained to teachers.
Collaborating with web site designers to promote Fleet education programs, create web-based versions of science center exhibitions, and create science informational pages as a public resource.
Partnering with local television stations to promote and demonstrate science programming, new exhibits, and IMAX movies. This included recruiting large numbers of children to appear on live television shows, and being the Fleet spokesperson on camera for live and taped interviews.
Representing the science center as the Fleet’s Spaceflight and Astronomy Spokesperson. This included the creation of printed and website information for all major spaceflight and astronomy news events, plus live and taped TV interviews with all local and many national TV news stations (usually at least two per month) on the latest space stories. It also included briefing astronauts to comment on space news stories at the science center.
Hiring and supervising a team of up to six Science Educator staff members, plus the addition of an Education Assistant for clerical duties. Creating a training program and directing the educators in the development of curriculum and classroom management for workshops, outreach, and summer camp programs.
Recruiting and supervising a team of volunteers to assist as teacher aides for summer camps. This involved teaming with a large number of volunteers and other agencies such as inner-city schools, court-monitored programs, and the Indian Human Resource Center, to provide first-job opportunities to members of underrepresented communities.
Supervising the San Diego County Office of Education Juvenile Court Science Academy, an in-house high school at the science center for students at risk for truancy and assigned to the school by the courts.
Planning with science center ticketing staff, engineers, audio-visual experts, the membership department, and others to ensure education events were smoothly prepared with maximum advance notice and lowest whole-building impact.
Overseeing collaboration with local partner schools, primarily in low-income areas with students underrepresented among Fleet audiences, to create school-business partnerships, volunteer and mentoring opportunities and introducing informal science concepts into classrooms.
Team Leader for the multi-year “Journey Through the Universe” program, a collaboration between The Challenger Centers, NASA / JPL, Lockheed Martin, USD, the San Diego Science Alliance, and SD City Schools. A Year of Space Science was created, which included visits to schools and teacher workshops by leading scientists, moon rock certifications, talks, and Palomar Observatory tours, reaching 10,000 5th Grade students.
Created and hosted grant-funded Community Family Days, where 500 people from underrepresented groups came to the science center for a day of science-themed activities, food, and entertainment from groups such as the World Beat Center.
Hosted grant-funded events in conjunction with the IMAX movie Coral Reef Adventure, which included providing transportation for families from local Native American reservations to come to the science center for activities including a presentation by a deep-sea diver from the movie.
Created and hosted grant-funded teacher preview nights for educational IMAX movies, including the organization of invitation distribution lists, food, and entertainment.
Presented astronomy concepts to 11,000 school students onstage with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra as part of their “Musical Journey Into Space” concert series at the Symphony Hall. (January 23-27, 2005)
Hosted teacher workshops, both presented by the Fleet and for outside groups such as the National Wildlife Federation. Worked with the Fleet Inquiry Institute, designed to teach teachers informal learning methodologies.
Science center representative for an NSF-funded Cornell University program to field test urban bird studies, which included recruiting inner-city student groups to record urban bird sightings and report to Cornell scientists.
Partnered with Kids Included Together, a group dedicated to create inclusion opportunities for children with special needs, to make summer camps and other science center programs more inclusive, and to train staff to deal with diverse needs.
Hosted sleepovers for a variety of school and private groups, including a large range of science learning opportunities during these evenings. This included BE WiSE, a program for girls in Grades 7 and 8 who are encouraged to contribute to science and engineering professions and explore their interest in science.
Led the design and creation of a banner flown by astronaut Jim Newman aboard space shuttle Columbia on 2002’s STS 109 mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, to be placed on display at the science center.