Delia Ramirez is a mother of three and a long-time PISEC participant. Over the years, her daughter's special interest in science blossomed through PISEC; today Delia's daughter is a CASE ambassador and an Outward Bound participant and is planning a science-related career.
I wasn't that good at science. I didn't know much about animals and stuff like that, so I like the fact that I learn a lot. The events are niceI love them, especially because it's a family thing, and that's what makes it nicer. Plus, we have little ones growing up, and they teach them how to grow together and especially learning about sciencethat's the best thing.
When Delia and her children first came to PISEC events, they had had almost no experience with hands-on science. Today, Delia's 17-year-old daughter is a CASE ambassador. For Delia, it is the family orientation of PISEC programs that is particularly attractive. It offers something for people of all ages.
The best PISEC experience we had was at the Aquarium, when they swim with the sharks inside [the tank] and all the families are there. We watched the divers swimming next to the sharks. It was fun. I'd be afraid to go in next to a shark. They say that sharks don't eat people, and I said, "Oh my God, I didn't even know!" I learned so many things about sharks that I didn't even know. So I think that was a fun one for me.
It may have been Delia who first brought her family to PISEC, but it was her daughter's special interest in science that really engaged the family. Now, Delia herself has found a new interest in science, and her daughter's interest has turned into a career direction.
I'm not too good at science. My daughter and my son love science. That's why I started to love science. I got interested because my daughter, the one that's an ambassador, she loved science even before PISEC. I said, "Why does she love science so much?" That's why I started getting interested in these programs. My husband, he liked it because he never spent time with the kids in school, so the PISEC program was a time for him to spend with the kids. When he came to this program, he spent time with the kids. And it was nice.
Before PISEC, Delia didn't have the tools to support her daughter's special interest in science. Now, she sees the program as an important element in her daughter's growth and as potentially valuable to all teens.
Before PISEC, our family went to the lake and the beaches, that's it, or to parks and stuff like that. We didn't go to museums until we came to the programs. But now I can see how important it is. My daughter was in North Carolina during the CASE graduation, and I was there to pick up her certificate. You know, I said, "I can't miss this event." I just love it, I love it. But I think science is importantI didn't think it was that important, but now I know it is.
Because her family has little money, Delia never saw museums as within her reach, except through school field trips. She sees PISEC as a way to enrich her own life, her family's life, and the lives of her extended family and neighbors.
When my kids went to school, I didn't know much about museums. But they used to take my kids to museums on school trips. I learned about science museums, The Franklin Institute and all, and I used to love them. I heard about the program and I said, "Oh, this is the museum I like to go to," but I couldn't afford to, because my life is kind of hard, as a lower-income family, so it's not easy to come to the museum.