Serena Spearman started in PISEC before the CASE program and then became a CASE ambassador. Her interest began when she realized it would be possible to offer community members low-cost access to PISEC museums. Since those early days, Serena and her family have become increasingly involved with PISEC. Today, she says, PISEC has changed her life.
What makes CASE different is that you have a whole community of families that are involved. With CASE, your family membersaunt, uncles, and grand mom are thereand it's also neighbors and people that are just in the community, and storeowners find out. They're able to donate sometimes, like a snack for the children, so I think that it is bringing our community together.
When Serena joined PISEC, her interest was in access to local attractions. Over time, she discovered the value of involving whole families in learning science.
When I first got involved with PISEC, I thought it was great to get a pass and be able to distribute it to families in the community, because the community that I live in is mainly low, low income. A lot of the children are not exposed to the museums unless it's on a field trip with their school. And a lot of the schools have cut the field trips out. So, a lot of them had never been inside of the museums or the Zoo or the Aquarium, so it's been an enriching experience for the community.
Serena's entire family has benefited from involvement with PISEC programs.
Everyone participates. Because my husband helps get out the kit, my daughter helps transport things when needed, and my grandchildren are making sure everything takes place. And so we're all involved in CASE. From CASE, my grandson was able to attend his first year in a science exploration program here at The Franklin Institute. And it really helped. It has paid off.
Serena sees PISEC programs as a way to connect an entire community of families all of whom have a special interest in learning. As they attend more programs, families become more invested and connected to PISEC and to one another.
I get really excited about the preparation, how the children are going to react to certain things. I definitely have started taking pictures and just keeping some documentation of what we're doing, and I put myself in it so that the children can get the most out of it.
Serena believes that a good CASE ambassador needs patience and a willingness to learn and to share. By bringing those qualities to the project, she has succeeded in making a difference to the community and to herself.
I think the quality you need as an ambassador is patience. You don't have to be knowledgeable about scienceyou don't need thatbut you need to have the will to want to learn new things and share them [to] have a quality of sharing and just being able to know that everyone is different. You're going to run into a lot of different attitudes and things. You need the quality just to be patient and be able to deal with a lot of different things, because there's always a surprise.