Colin Anderson is our March 2017 Volunteer of the Month. He can often be found in our Spark!Lab creating imaginative inventions and sharing science with others. Here’s why he volunteers.
I’ve seen parachutes meant for pasta and cars meant for cats. I’ve seen hats that hold books and spacesuits that can fly. I’ve seen towers that teeter and marble tracks that sing. I’ve seen all these things and more inside Spark!Lab at the Michigan Science Center.
Anyone and everyone can be inventive, and at Spark!Lab there’s the opportunity to explore science in a way that’s hands-on, intuitive, and relatable. Why do I volunteer in Spark!Lab? I volunteer because each and every kid should have the chance to experience that Aha! moment that comes with scientific exploration. I volunteer because there’s nothing like a child’s satisfaction at solving a particularly difficult scientific problem, and because doing so builds the confidence and self-esteem that they need to succeed, both today and in the future.
Science starts with observation and then it goes through a series of other steps that we collectively call the scientific method. But it all starts with an interest, with being inspired! I loved science as a kid, in no small part thanks to the encouragement and support of countless teachers and mentors throughout my childhood. When parents bring their kids to the Michigan Science Center, they’re making a big investment in their kids’ future – it’s the least I can do to make that experience as great as possible.
People sometimes think of science as some inaccessible thing practiced exclusively under bright fluorescent lights by old men in lab coats. But science is so much more than that. Science involves everyone every single day. Everything around us owes its existence to science, whether it’s the precisely made woodwork of the buildings, the cars and trucks on the roads, or the electricity grid powering your lights and phones. This all comes from science. Tomorrow’s scientists and engineers and mathematicians are right here, just waiting to grow up and change the world. But first they have to be inspired. And that is key.