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Letter from the President
We have been inspired by the wisdom of our partners.
I believe that there can be great strength in bringing groups together. Multiple points of view, wide-ranging experiences, differing operating structures: these are not obstacles to overcome, but rather elements to embrace. They teach us how to work with others under diverse conditions.
That's why, after six years of leading the Science Museum of Minnesota, I still get a thrill knowing that I am part of a place where partnership is more than a boardroom buzzword; it's a proactive effort we undertake every day.
In partnerships we don't need to do it all, but we can see that it all gets done. And through partnerships we can achieve successes that far exceed our individual capacity.
As a case in point: In 2007, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Science Museum joined together to debut the ground-breaking traveling exhibition RACE: Are We So Different?
That partnership led to an exciting opportunity this year, when the RACE exhibition traveled to Capitol Hill. Together, the Congressional Black Caucus, AAA and the Science Museum took part in "A New National Dialogue on Race," two days of talks with legislators, their staff, policymakers and leading thinkers on race issues with the exhibition as backdrop for the dialogue.
A remarkable thing happened during "A New National Dialogue on Race." The RACE exhibition provided a powerful, meaningful context for the congressional debates and hearings taking place. The exhibition's sections on the historical origins and modern-day legacy of race helped to frame congressional thinking about contemporary racial issues.
Through the power of this partnership, today's leaders have been influenced as they shape tomorrow's future. The knowledge imparted by our partners led to increased understanding and shared vision. We all continue our work, strengthened by our common experience and collective search for justice.
Successful partnerships do more than build great work, they strengthen each participant. It's a strength that endures, fashioning our future work collectively and individually.
Take, as another example, Engineering is Elementary (EiE.) A mathematics standards-based curriculum that brings engineering into elementary classrooms through engaging, hands-on learning activities, EiE also provides training for teachers. It's a program that touches kids, teachers, principals, district leaders and curriculum specialists to help ensure excellence through and through.
It's also a journey in systemic change that started years ago. It included five years of field testing with EiE curriculum developers from the Museum of Science, Boston. It included previous partnerships with the State of Minnesota and Medtronic that helped build solid, trusting relationships with schools.
This year, those efforts had a major impact when a joint venture with Minneapolis and Hopkins Public Schools and Cargill Foundation brought EiE to all elementary schools in those districts—marking the first time EiE was introduced system-wide across a large, urban school district. Imagine the thousands of Minnesota students who now have increased excitement and understanding of engineering. Imagine the hundreds of teachers who have new supports and teaching techniques at their disposal.
The chain reaction of this partnership continues. As I write this letter, we are already working with 3M and St. Paul Public Schools to integrate EiE into their curriculum. And the list of Minnesota school districts that are welcoming EiE into their classrooms continues to grow. Systemic change has begun.
I hope that when you page through this report you'll be amazed, as am I, by the depth and power of partnerships. They are testaments to communities that share a vision and passion for bringing the power of mathematics and science more broadly and equitably into the lives of all of our citizens.
When you support the Science Museum, you are making an investment that also supports positive change in our community, and our nation.
Together we are leaving footprints for others to follow.
Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., President
Download the Annual Report
To learn more about our museum and its programs please read the full 2010 Annual Report. (PDF | 1.7 MB)
2010 Annual Report - Financials (PDF | 272 KB)