Meet Our Presenters

Live Science presentors in a group photo in animated poses on the roof of The Franklin Institute.

If there’s one thing all our presenters have in common, it’s the sincere desire to give our visitors a fresh and fun perspective on science.  You can find them around the museum on any given day presenting Live Science shows and demonstrations or hosting hands-on science interactions at one of our many carts. Check the daily program sheet for times and locations.  In the meantime, we invite you to get to know them a little better.

  • Background
    I graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science in 2016. I have always been a science nerd, from watching The Magic School Bus every day before school to attending Science in the Summer throughout elementary school, my interest was always to learn more...and more...and more! I began working in museums behind the scenes in a natural history collection, but I found my true passion when I was able to teach and present the topics that have amazed and astounded me throughout my life to energized, engaged, and excited audiences.

    Why do you love your job?
    The best part of my job is seeing the look on a visitors face (children and adults alike) when a science concept really clicks. There is nothing better than knowing I contributed to someone’s understanding of the incredible world around them, except maybe blowing up hydrogen balloons…

    Favorite topic to present & why?
    I am interested in everything about our natural world, from the phenomena that shape our climate to the complex evolutionary steps that led to the plants and animals around the globe, including ourselves!

  • Background
    I graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, where I studied both Elementary Education and Adult & Organizational Development. I have been working with children in some capacity for 7 years, and can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve worked with learners of all ages, from preschool to adults, creating and hosting special events, writing curriculum, and generally trying to make learning a fun and entertaining experience!

    Why do you love your job?
    The best part of my job is exposing learners to science they can’t do at home while engaging them in fun ways. You might  find me rapping about states of matter in front of the Benjamin Franklin Memorial, or blowing up hydrogen balloons in Musser Theater!

    Favorite topic to present & why?
    I love teaching about a broad spectrum of science topics, but have been most interested in neurology; especially leading school teachers in thoughtful conversations about how their students’ brains function as they learn, and how they can use this information to maximize their learning!

  • Background
    I graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2014 with a BA in Environmental Science, concentrating on Ecological Restoration and Science Policy. I am a wetland and dirt enthusiast and spent most of my time prior to joining the Franklin doing field research. I love science because the more I know about the world around me the more I am able to appreciate how amazing it is. I do science because I believe it has the power to help solve issues that are threatening that amazing world I love!

    Why do you love your job?
    The best part of my job is sharing my joy of science with guests. Often times we take spectacularly cool things for granted - like why water changes form when it changes temperature, or why thunder makes a sound. I hope that everyday the guests I see will leave the museum with a sense of wonder for the world (and universe!) they live in.

    Favorite topic to present & why?
    I especially love working in the Observatory. Watching people find out that the tiny speck they are looking at is actually 3x as big as the Earth never gets old!

  • Background
    Jacqui received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from Temple University in 2009, focusing on performance art, and originally joined The Franklin Institute in January 2014 as a member of the Traveling Science Show team. Although she did not have a formal Science training, Jacqui learned all of her science information through fun experiments done as a child and in school.

    Why do you love your job?
    Performing has always been my number one love, and when I mix it with my love of science it creates an explosion of fun. Watching kids grasp a full understand of science through performance is not only the icing on the cake, but it puts a smile on my face every day.

    Favorite topic to present & why?
    Science is all around us and one subject that has always caught my interest is meteorology, because it affects us each and every day. Performing the CBS3 Weather show is one of my favorite things! I have learned so many fascinating topics like air pressure, fire tornadoes, and the water cycle.

  • Background
    Shanna Pokras has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from Penn State University. When not at The Franklin Institute, Shanna enjoys eating delicious food, riding her bike, and singing in an a capella group called In the Mix.

    Why do you love your job?
    Where else can you freeze things and blow stuff up and get paid to do it?! Oh, and getting kids excited about science is okay too...

    Favorite topic to present & why?
    The Liquid Air Show shows the silly side of states of matter. I love hearing the uncontrollable giggles of kids and grown-ups alike.

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