By Sarah Allen-Sutter
Special to the Enterprise
Explorit’s long-serving board member and board president, Dr. Sheila Allen, is retiring from the Explorit Board of Directors. We would like to take a moment to thank Sheila for her hard work and to celebrate all that she did for Explorit.
Sheila joined Explorit’s Board of Directors in 2012, inspired to join by her strong interest in science education. Her own kids had spent many days exploring the hands-on activities at Explorit, and she wanted to get involved to support the local science center in its mission of educating and engaging kids in science.
Of the ten years that Sheila was a member of the Explorit board, she served five of them as board president, working hard to lead Explorit and keep it running at its full potential. She saw Explorit through some tough years, including its temporary pandemic-induced closure. During the closure, she led the team in restructuring Explorit, hiring a new program director, office manager, and website designer. With the combined efforts of the staff, the board, and volunteers Explorit reopened in 2021 with a revamped interior, a new exhibit, and a new website.
Throughout her time as president, Sheila also formed many new community partnerships. She worked with the city of Davis, along with staff, board members, and community volunteers, to freshen up and maintain the interior and exterior of Explorit. She collaborated with the Discovery Museum, Explorit’s volunteer-of-the-year Susan Douglas, and the city of Davis to transport a large rocket engine into Explorit’s front yard, where it has become a popular attraction for visitors to Explorit as well as community members just passing by. One of Sheila’s largest projects as president involved working with the city of Woodland and Tuleyome to plan the Woodland Regional Park Preserve and expand Explorit’s nature programming. Other new collaborative projects included teaching educational programs and guiding scout projects with the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of Northern California and working with Cool Davis to create a plan for the “greening” of Explorit.
For Sheila, Explorit is important to the community because it is essential to have a local center for kids and families to explore hands-on science, especially in a city that places a high value on educational quality. She is proud that Explorit serves not only Davis, but surrounding regions as well with our traveling programs. Through hands-on science, Sheila hopes that Explorit will help inspire the next generation of scientists, showing them that science is fun!
Dr. Sheila Allen’s commitment and contributions to Explorit Science Center cannot be understated, and we will greatly miss her positive attitude and can-do enthusiasm. Sheila left us with these parting words: “No organization is dependent on one person; it is the collaboration between the community, staff, board members, and partners all working together that makes Explorit what it is. I look forward to seeing the young scientists of today solving the questions and problems of tomorrow.”
Exploit's coming events:
• Explorit is open to the public on Fridays from 1-4pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm. Admission is $5 per person. Explorit Members, ASTC, and those age 2 and under free. Explorit strongly encourages all guests to wear a mask while indoors.
• Limited spaces available for our Summer Science Camps. All camps run from Monday-Friday and will have both indoor and outdoor components. Price is $175 Members/$200 Non-Members. Register for summer camp at https://www.explorit.org/camps.
• A Membership to Explorit grants the recipient free visits to Explorit’s regular public hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits to visit other museums throughout the world. To purchase or for more information visit https://www.explorit.org/membership or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.
• Like many small businesses the closures have had a significant impact on our income and sustainability. Now is a great time to donate and help Explorit continue to educate and inspire the scientists of tomorrow: https://www.explorit.org/donate.