Trinia Jones is a mother of four boys. Her ethnically mixed family attended PISEC events as a group, both parents and their four sons.
Before PISEC, we went to the playground and the park a lot. We played baseball, that kind of thing. And as far as science is concerned, beyond watching Discovery, we didn't do a lot of science-oriented activities.
Prior to PISEC, Trinia saw no reason to buy expensive tickets to a museum in hopes that her children might enjoy the experience. PISEC not only piqued the family's interest in science, but also introduced Trinia to the idea that one can buy a membership and enjoy free admission for an entire year.
The thing that I liked about it the most is it encouraged my husband and I to buy passes for our family every year, which we've done every year since. We'd choose one of the museums and we'd buy a membership for our family. And it encouraged us to do that because we always have fun at the different events. So we figured, "Okay, we can do this as a family." So that's one of the things that I remember most about it.
For Trinia, it came as a happy surprise that the staff of a free program could be pleasant, welcoming, and attentive.
I like that the programs are free. I like that the people involved with the programs are very helpful and kind. Like the one lady who I email at The Franklin Instituteshe always gets right back to me. I really appreciate that. Sometimes when things are free, people treat you like you owe them something. But, I never get that attitude or that feeling from any of the people who are participating in these events.
While Trinia herself was not particularly interested in science, her sons had showed an interest. PISEC allowed her to support her boys' science interests and even expand upon them.
I've found that my childrensince we have all boysthey just love science, and I was never really interested in science in school. My oldest son, who's now 20, he really loved dinosaurs. So his interest was in dinosaurs, and then my next son, he was more interested in nature, like trees and plants and that kind of thing. So having the two boys with different interests in different aspects of science, one might want to go to The Franklin Institute and the other might want to go to the Natural Sciences museum. So, it would be difficult because we couldn't go to both. And this program, and my children's interest in it, opened up a whole door for me. And you know, it's been enriching; it's been fulfilling. It's really been great.
Once Trinia and her children got involved with PISEC programs, their awareness and interest in the natural world expanded. Soon, her children were applying information from museums to real-world settings.
When we went to West Virginia to visit my father-in-law, they would always point out things that they remembered, like, "Remember when the lady from the Academy of Natural Sciences told us about butterflies? The butterflies do this, or do that," and they would always teach me or remind me of something that they learned.
As a result of their involvement in PISEC, Trinia and her family discovered that science exploration could be as much fun as the movies and far more meaningful.
You might go to the movies together. You might go to a theme park together, which, in all reality, isn't educational. It's not something that you keep with you; you know it's just a memory. But, when we go to the museums, they learn things that they can apply somewhere in their lives, whether it's in school or whether it's something at home. So I think the educational part of it makes it...different.
Without PISEC, Trinia and her family would never have thought to visit a museum. Now, the family buys memberships each year, and brings along friends when they visit. They have also begun to take part in science learning opportunities outside of PISEC.
The educational aspect has been fabulousthe opportunity to go to the various different places more frequently than we could have afforded to go on our own. The encouragement that it gave us to choose one place and get a yearly membership was fabulous because my children now look forward to these things, and they tell their friends about it, so now I have friends that want to go. I think that had we not been involved in this program, I can't see us ever having even thought to get a membership to the Natural Sciences Museum. You know, maybe of course the Zoo, but not The Franklin Institute, because in your mind you think, [once] you've seen one thing you've seen it, but the exhibits are consistently changing. But, I don't think that I would have even done that if we had not gone to this program.