Our December 2017 Volunteer of the Month, Susan Stahl, can often be found conversing with visitors in our special exhibit 1001 Inventions: Untold Stories from a Golden Age of Innovation. Read her own words about why she loves volunteering:
Issac Newton once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” I am a self-proclaimed science and history nerd, and that quote is never far from my mind. I love hearing about new scientific discoveries and learning how past work led up to them. I always experience a thrill when I understand how the two fit together and I am able to, Janus-like, see both the past and peer into the future. I feel great gratitude for the giants, known and unknown, who have gone before and a joyous hope for those who will come after me.
When the Science Center put out the call for volunteers to help with the 1001 Inventions exhibition, I was intrigued. I had been aware that Muslim Civilization was a big contributor to the European Renaissance, but it wasn’t until I saw the exhibit material that I realized the scope of that contribution. It was far greater than I had ever imagined. Goosebumps time! I was entranced… and I was hooked. This is a story that needs to be told, and I wanted to help tell it. I wanted others to experience that magic moment when their minds connect with the threads of history and leap ahead into the future.
I have not been disappointed. Time and again, I see visitors’ faces brighten as they make the connection, and I share in their delight as they explore the exhibit and start to ask that most wondrous question, “What if…?” It is my fervent hope that every visitor will be inspired to seek out knowledge and continue to ask “What if…?” long after the exhibit has moved on to a new venue. If they do, who knows what will happen? Some of the visitors may one day become giants themselves.
I’ve decided that, my schedule permitting, I will continue to be a Science Center volunteer after the exhibit has moved on. After all, history and science are never static. I don’t know what new stories there will be, but I have that no doubt that there will be many more for me to help tell.