The Powerhouse Science Center took strides during 2017 and stayed true to its mission statement and slogan: “exploring the past – igniting the future.”
Powerhouse staff and volunteers, while considering input from stakeholders, sought out and implemented advice from local experts to create financial policies and procedures, exhibit development and maintain efficient management of inventory.
One of the most exciting installments was the opening of the MakerLab.
Deputy director Alexandra Stetson-Lee said the facility provides the community with sophisticated cost-prohibitive, space-intensive tools and technology that would otherwise be difficult and expensive to be able to access and use.
As director, Stetson-Lee oversaw programs and development design at the MakerLab with volunteer support and feedback from staff, board members and other contributers to the facility’s opening.
“It’s good to have a community workshop and design studio, and nothing like that had existed in Durango before the MakerLab opened,” she said. “We were fortunate enough to have support and funding from the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado.”
Milestones the Powerhouse reached in 2017 include:
The MakerLab, a new community workshop and design studio, was furnished, staffed and opened.Teens in the Science Career Ladder Program collectively volunteered more than 600 hours.Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics programs were provided to 2,075 students.The interactive gallery, with an updated, volunteer-led exhibit space and its own committee, admitted 11,787 people and featured two new exhibits. An augmented reality sandbox, veterinarian play area in the Discovery Kids zone and a virtual-reality experience that showcases technology were added to the gallery.Expenses were reduced by $89,000.Rentals and events were developed to be offered for public and private use.Low-cost, annual memberships and $4,000 in individual scholarships were provided to the community.More than $1,000 in admission donations, plus $15,000 in rental discounts, were provided for nonprofit organizations.Board members attended eight trainings last year, gave financial donations and volunteered an average of 20 to 40 hours each month.Four Corners First Lego League Competition was hosted for 26 teams.The STEM career ladder program supported 14 high school students.In other words, the initiatives of the Powerhouse during 2017 helped sew the community together through an inclusive sense of creativity and fun for everyone.
For 2018, the Powerhouse has its sights set on the horizon, with plans to offer an earth-moon-sun system exhibit, expanded tool inventory in the MakerLab and more STEM educational programs. The science center strives to find more local teachers in the community who want to enhance and share local talent, and is ramping up its class schedule to offer five to 10 classes every month, with new equipment and full workshops, including a wood and metal-working shop, jewelry-making equipment and a high-end quilting machine.
For more information, visit www.powsci.org.