StoryCorps Door-to-Door set out to record the stories of yet another one of the best museums in the country: Explora, a science center and children’s museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Sandia Mountains were a welcome change from the city skyline and when we stepped into the building, we knew why Explora earned a National Medal Award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Simply put, Explora is an amazing place to play and learn for children of all ages.
Like many of our participants, kindergarten teacher Mariam Martinez remembered when she first developed an interest in science. During a third grade field trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York City, a museum docent talked with the children about the Eskimo people and asked the class to look for an element missing from the Eskimos’ jackets. Mariam told her friend Sara of her classmates’ reactions to the observations she shared with the docent. “Everybody looked at me like how did you know that. And I thought, my observations are good. So, that was my initial interest in science, making observations.”
As a kindergarten teacher in Albuquerque, Mariam helps her students make their own scientific observations. Sometimes the students visit Explora where they can touch the exhibits, play with the parts and learn about the science that surrounds us all.