Story 05: Memoirs of a Bubble Blower

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The Luxury of Time to Develop

Written by Bernie Zubrowski

For what ended up being my life's work, these early afterschool programming experiences were an invaluable lab for curriculum R&D. But the greater significance to this part of the story is that I was allowed this leeway to experiment by the managers at the museum. The museum worked with several community agencies to provide afterschool programming. Museum managers, including Elaine Heumann Gurian, Dottie Merrill, Jim Zien, Pat Steuert, and even Director Mike Spock, trusted me to work toward delivering quality activities to the agencies with whom I worked—and to the children they served—and were confident that I would represent the museum in a respectable and sensitive manner. Having this kind of support was especially appreciated because in my previous work in the Peace Corps and in the African Primary Science program I worked very much on my own. I had grown accustomed to defining and directing my own work. The managers at the museum had created a culture in which my independent working style was not only accepted, but actively supported, both financially and philosophically. I had the opportunity to work directly with kids over a long period of time to develop the many programs—and eventually exhibits—for which the museum later became known.

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