With the Titanic exhibition providing a dramatic backdrop, members of Toledo’s Science Society met at the Imagination Station for a progress report on its ambitious plan for a nearly $1 million exhibit and workshop designed to inspire and teach students about science, technology, and engineering.
Bob Savage, the Society’s president, said the Idea Lab, to be housed in the downtown science center, is on target for a summer, 2015, opening.
The three-year-old society voted in the fall to fund the Idea Lab.
Its 96 charter members have contributed nearly $1 million since its inception.
Society members contribute between $2,500 and $15,000 in annual dues to raise funds that allow the Imagination Station to create expensive attractions geared toward youngsters.
The society has around $1.2 million in an account with the Toledo Community Foundation, said Mr. Savage, co-founder of a financial services firm.
Since the fall vote, Mr. Savage has met with students at the University of Toledo’s engineering college to critique the concept and make sure the focus remains on younger students, he said.
Mike Koludrovich, who graduated this spring from UT with a master’s degree in engineering, has volunteered to be the liaison between UT and Imagination Station.
Mr. Koludrovich said he is working with a core group of UT students who will fine-tune the exhibits.
“I’ve come here on my own time because I love science,” he said after the presentation on Sunday.
Mr. Koludrovich works with a Cleveland-area engineering consulting firm.
Lori Hauser, Imagination Station’s CEO, said the science center’s Idea Lab and traveling exhibits such as “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” are intended to develop repeat visitors.
The Idea lab will be divided into overlapping workshops and exhibits that will support innovation and the ability to solve problems in a creative way, Ms. Hauser said.
Eight exhibits will address fabrication, electronics, and programming. A working lab will have a potential of having 1,000 participants a week.
Sloan Mann, Imagination Station’s assistant director of STEM education, said the Idea Lab should encourage young people to consider occupations in science, technology, engineering or math.
“We want to tie this all to careers,” she said. “That last piece is critical.”
After the Titanic exhibition leaves, Imagination Station will bring in “Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World” in February and “Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition,” based on the popular television series, in October, 2015. The Idea lab is expected to open between those two exhibitions, Ms. Hauser said.
Contact: Jim Sielicki at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.