Shelby McPherson is our June 2017 Volunteer of the Month. When she isn’t out in the world designing, building, and creating a better world as a construction engineer, she is inspiring the next generation to boldly follow similar paths. You’ll find her doing just that in our Spark!Lab where kids build towers, bridges, vehicles, and anything they can imagine.
Serving my community has always been an important aspect of my life. Growing up my parents instilled in me a great sense of community and the drive to help others. I have been fortunate to express my passions through many volunteer organizations, but of all of my experiences, volunteering at the Michigan Science Center has been the most fun and rewarding.
I started volunteering at MiSci in January of this year. I have always been fascinated by science and am a strong advocate for encouraging science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in young people. After touring the center, I knew that volunteering in Spark!Lab would be perfect for me. I love that I have the ability to design, build, and engineer solutions with kids from all over Michigan. Every time I volunteer, I learn something new and have the opportunity to experience the creative genius of the girls and boys of Metro Detroit.
After bringing out my inner scientist for a couple of months in Spark!Lab, I discovered another amazing program that MiSci organizes; The STEMinista Project. The goal of The STEMinista project is to encourage and empower young women to pursue STEM by providing role models who are already in the field. As a construction engineer, I am reminded daily of the struggles women face in STEM fields every day. I was so excited to learn about this initiative and signed up for a STEMinista Social almost immediately. Here young women were able to have an open conversation with STEM role models about their interests in STEM and get some hands-on experience with nanotechnology. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my afternoon and am so excited to see this program progress.
Volunteering at MiSci is not only for scientists, engineers, or mathematicians; it’s for anyone who loves to learn. Becoming a volunteer has been as much of a learning experience for me as it has been for every child I have worked with. Volunteering here is enlightening, rewarding, and way too much fun! I have had so many great experiences as a MiSci volunteer, and I can’t wait to volunteer again!