Breaking Down Barriers To STEAM—A Note From Our President And CEO
In my high school physics class, I often greeted my teacher with a never-ending stream of questions about parabolic motion, acceleration and velocity, or engineering the perfect spaghetti-noodle bridge. My classmates were not as enchanted by my overflowing curiosity as I was, and they made sure I knew it. “Stop asking questions,” they said. “You’re wasting our time.”
I didn’t stop, of course—that’s how I became a scientist! But I never forgot what it felt like to be told that my questions didn’t matter.
At the Adler Planetarium, we create spaces where people of all backgrounds and abilities (and their questions!) are welcome. Our focus on personal connections, meeting people where they are, and making complex ideas understandable is core to our work of breaking down the barriers that keep people from participating in science.
When more people feel welcome in scientific spaces, we get to explore wonderful questions like, “Why can’t I see the Milky Way from my neighborhood?,” “Where did that meteorite land?,” and “What’s that strange object I can see underneath that distant galaxy?” These questions have led Adler teens, scientists, staff, and volunteers to conduct studies and participate in community activism around light pollution, to find an invasive species (and some micrometeorites) at the bottom of Lake Michigan, and to discover the ghost remnant of a supermassive black hole.
None of this would be possible without generous financial support from people like you. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today to help us create a world where everyone’s curiosity is a cause for celebration—and exploration.
– Michelle B. Larson, PhD, President and CEO