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Co-founder offers thoughts on Explorit's value

The following was written by Anne Hance, co-founder of Explorit and a longtime board member.

Anne HanceExplorit's mission, simply stated, is to involve people in everyday science experiences. I believe in this mission. It directs the center to offer science to families and school children through hands-on investigations and experiments using familiar, everyday materials.
My belief is undoubtedly influenced by the fact that I, along with a group of others, was part of the founding in the early 1980s. But it goes much deeper than that.
When I consider what basic things we need today to grow and flourish as individuals and as a nation, I think of the need for safety and nourishment for our bodies. But I think, too, of the nourishment needed for our minds.
Beyond the formal education of school and college, we need art, music, drama, physical pursuits and opportunities to learn how to question, and how to look for answers that are not before us in a book or provided by a teacher.
In this context, our science center has a most valuable function. It provides open-ended, exploratory, informal and enjoyable opportunities for problem-solving experiences.
Yes, we call them science experiences. They involve experiments and investigations of science concept - and that is important. But their added significance is that they encourage attitudes of questioning and logical thinking that are integral not only to good science but to all other pursuits.
It's very hard to measure long-term effects, but sometimes strong evidence presents itself. A real-life case in point: A young boy with his family briefly in Davis from overseas spent many hours at the center in 1987. He sent us a 'thank you' postcard when he went back home and then, almost 20 years later, returned to discuss with us the best way of creating a similar science place for families in his hometown.
Have you visited many science centers? Are you aware that our science center is unique? From the very first days of its existence, the center devised its own way of being. It did not copy other centers but instead devised simple ways to become comfortable with and learn about science (and nature, and math and - ); ways that prepare for and encourage more formal ways of learning about doing science.
Click here to learn more about our science programs or how you can support Explorit


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