Th vision and generosity of Lucas County voters in 2008 brought Imagination Station to life 18 months ago. Since then, some 400,000 people have visited the science center.
Keeping the concept fresh is the job of the Science Society, which is off to a great start, attracting members and raising money for awe-inspiring new exhibits. But they need more members -- and their checkbooks.
The 56 charter members of the group are too many to list individually, but they constitute a who's who of Lucas County society. They -- along with the LaValley Foundation, the Owens Corning Foundation, and HealthCare REIT -- have contributed some $387,000 in membership fees and donations. In return, each member gets a vote in the development of new exhibits that will be designed to blow away young visitors and excite their interest in math and science.
Getting exhibits with the right "wow" factor is expensive. Robert Savage, who is on the executive committee of the Science Society and is vice chairman of the science center, says a new exhibit with lots of pizzazz can cost $1 million. In the meantime, members of the Science Society are being asked to keep an eye out for interesting exhibits when they travel to other cities and report back on those they think might have the right stuff.
Mr. Savage says the goal of the Science Society is "to make sure kids have every opportunity to fall in love with math and science." But joining the society is not for the faint of pocketbook. The four membership levels are silver, $2,500; gold, $5,000; platinum, $10,000, and diamond, $15,000 -- a year. Still, the list of area notables who have joined the Science Society is dwarfed by the number of local luminaries still standing on the sidelines.
In an age when young people often are distracted by the bright lights of HDTV, 3D movies, and computer games, the Science Society aims to show them that science and math hold marvels beyond the imaginings of video-game makers.
Come join the Science Society. There's no secret handshake, just a shared conviction that children hold the key to Lucas County's future.