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Explorit! Yes, We're open and planning for an exciting future!

This article appeared in the December 16, 2011 edition of the Davis Enterprise

By Lars Anderson, Explorit Board President

It seems that every month or so a new study is published that decries the state of science “literacy” in the US, and the poor preparation college graduates have for 21st Century careers in technology-based areas. Tragically, in this economy, just when more resources are needed to bolster science education and to develop more effective teaching approaches, school programs are being cut and teachers are loosing jobs.  Making matters worse, historically strong philanthropic support of non-profits groups that provide supplementary programs in science and nature have suffered a similar decline- just when their efforts are sorely needed.  What can be done?

Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, Explorit’s mission and its programs have been focused on using active, creative approaches to engender the excitement and fulfilling reward of discovery, using inquiry-based experiences that connect science with the real world. This at the heart and soul of Explorit’s programs.

But Explorit has not been immune to the economic realities of the past three years.  We are readjusting our priorities and are looking carefully at the most effective ways to bolster science understanding in general, and to help pave the way from school toward successful careers, and to enhance the quality of life in Yolo County.  Our Board of Trustees and staff are fully engaged in strategic planning to ensure that our programs are both sustainable and fulfill our mission.  Importantly, we are carefully exploring innovative ways to connect our programs with career-paths that will both encourage and facilitate successful transitions for students to the jobs that are, and will be in demand.

As part of this process, the Board is also looking at new approaches and programs that will provide a community-level awareness of science.  We are reaching out to our countywide partners at all levels: businesses, tech-based companies, schools, public agencies, environmental groups and other organizations with like-minded missions.  We believe it will take a network of coordinated programs and collaborative actions to counter the current state of preparedness for a technology and science-centered economic future.  This strategy also makes good sense when resources are limited.

The lessons we’ve learned-especially over the past 10 years- is that bricks and mortar, glass and steel won’t necessarily lead to improvement in the fundamental understanding of science in our world, nor encourage creative thinking and discovery, nor provide a road to a rewarding career.  Rather, it is well-designed programs and activities (we call ours “Explorits”) that provide the opportunities for everyone-children and adults-to stretch their minds, and hone their thinking and problem-solving skills in a way that will serve them well whatever their calling. 

What can YOU do?

Go to our website and donate to Explorit!
Grandparents take note:  If you’re a grandparent we have a new matching fund initiated by our long-time supporters Brit and Sharon McClin: The Grandparents For Explorit Fund will match every dollar until we reach our current $5,000. match-level.  This is a great way to show your investment in the future and at the same time double your contribution!  We’ll be providing more information about this fund soon- but don’t wait! Call Explorit at 530-756-0191.

And remember-
Our doors are still open and we are offering public hours on the first full weekend of each month.  Over this holiday season we are offering special public hours from 1 to 5 pm December 20 to 24 and December 27 to 31.  We are also taking reservations for our family night outreach programs “Science in Your World” and “Health in Your World”.

From the Explorit Board of Trustees our staff and volunteers, we wish you the best during this holiday season.  Come visit Explorit soon

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