Lamont Buffington is our September 2016 Volunteer of the Month. Mr. Buffington has volunteered at science centers for over a decade, and chances are you’ve learned something from having a conversation with him in our lower level, where he can often be found among his favorite educational exhibits. Hear in his own words why he puts on the lab coat time and time again:
My primal interest in science was launched while a student in high school. Mrs. Parker, my first human biology teacher, was central to that experience. Although, professionally I am a lawyer, my fascination with science never dulled.
The legal practice of a product’s liability trial lawyer is expansive and fertile for physical science generally and biology, anatomy, bio-statistics in particular. In the practice, the focus is on you but through the eyes of others. Once I retired from active legal practice I felt compelled to use my 40 years of training to the benefit of impressionable and trainable youth. The Michigan Science Center offered a near perfect venue.
I was confident I could present something appealing to youth that they would recognize as compelling, authoritative and knowledgeable. Thus, I could improve their understanding of the STEM principles the science center offered through its exhibits. The strategy seems to have worked and it has been a very satisfying volunteering over the years.
At the Michigan Science Center, I tend toward life sciences when it comes to the special exhibits. Traveling exhibitions continue to excite my interest and I look forward to Creatures of Light this Autumn. On the main floor, I gravitate to exhibits in the areas of energy, motion, vibration and the sciences concerned with the study of inanimate natural objects, including physics, chemistry, astronomy, and related subjects.
In summary, I perceive volunteerism as a belief in the ‘commitment to service’ that enhances a life. Instructing children in their most formative years generates a material return on investment for all of society. It increases exponentially as the child grows, the teenager matures and the adult prospers. Service ROCKS!