ScienceWorks: Open House

A niche group of tech-oriented locals gathered at ScienceWorks for an early evening event where Executive Director Chip Lindsey announced that the non-profit museum plans to broaden their target market. Historically, the organization has focused on kids. The currently-evolving plan is to be more inclusive, welcoming explorers of all ages.

ScienceWorks was formerly a natural history museum until 2001 when co-founders Sharon & John Javna and Dave & Marge Bernard found a benefactor, Kirlin Foundation, that purchased the building and then rented it to ScienceWorks. After more than a decade as a tenant, ScienceWorks recently raised the money to purchase the building outright. The land the building sits on is leased from SOU for a nominal fee.

Exhibits, both static and dynamic, offer opportunities for people to experiment with maker projects, science projects, craft and trade-oriented disciplines. The property is ready-made for outdoor events such as fairs and festivals.

General hours of operation are: Wednesday through Sunday, from 10am – 5pm, and open 7 days a week from 10am-6pm from Memorial Day – Labor Day. The building is also available for the occasional evening event such as the one held this evening.

Networking commenced following Chip’s announcement, and attendees chatted with contacts old and new about recent events and new technology in hardware and software. One group discussed a data visualization project that presents statistical information in the form of a dramatic, animated graphic display. This hot new topic is on deck for a Tech Talk at SOU in Season 3, which begins Fall Term.

Warren Davidson demonstrated a new app, Amerioke, that he’s launching at Club 66 on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

Karen Allport, accompanied by her husband Glen, demonstrated a new video capture device, Swivl, that she will be using in the upcoming Ruby Tech Workshop at SOU being conducted by Robert Head on Thursday, April 14, 2016.

Gregory Dills, Volunteer Coordinator for ScienceWorks, was on hand to discuss the upcoming Maker Faire on Saturday, November 19, 2016. ScienceWorks is always looking for volunteers; the next training is on April 16th & 17th, 2016. for details.

Also in attendance were: Jim Teece and John Rowlett from Project A; Mark Decker, Jackson County IT Dept.; Paul Collins of Gracion Software; Harlan & Margaret Stenn of Network Time Foundation; Priscilla & Alan Oppenheimer of the Alan and Priscilla Oppenheimer Foundation; and Sharon Javna, ScienceWorks Co-Founder.

The tech community in Ashland seems to be active and very interested in the new course ScienceWorks is charting; the museum is an ideal venue for events like hackathons, conferences and other tech gatherings.