An introduction to my brand of Community Engagement

by | Jan 13, 2017 | Blog, Curiosity Piqued

Welcome to the first official Curiosity Piqued blog post!

I am starting this blog because communal learning is key for a productive and mutually respectful society. Randall Museum’s model for community engagement is effective and powerful. Also, the Museum is in the midst of a significant remodel and among the many changes occurring, I wanted to give the Randall a voice online it never had before. All in all, I want to make public the work my colleagues and I do. We are passionate about raising awareness of the natural world and learning through observation and hands-on experimentation. Because, in all its simplicity, don’t well-informed people make better decisions than otherwise? Don’t we want the children of today to be educated leaders of tomorrow? I know I do.

You can expect Curiosity Piqued to be full of wonderings, reports on amazing public programs, interviews with colleagues, pursuit of best practice and a have critical eye on education policy in our nation. Important: The views expressed in this blog are entirely my own and not of the Randall Museum, nor its parent organization, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. Randall Museum is simply the lens through which I view community engagement practice and a tool to enrich our community. So please, read on!

The Randall renovation is guided by a simple concept from Albert Einstein. He said that if you look deep into nature, you will understand everything better. This is an expansive statement full of many truths. I believe most of the answers to the big questions already exist in our natural world. Often when the term “nature” is used, many resort to thinking about Biological and Geological sciences. But in nature we can discover infinite lessons in physics, chemistry, engineering, art, medicine, sociology, psychology and much more. Scientists have discovered life saving medicines from plants, engineers have learned about structural physics from insect colonies, social behavior has been studied in primates and so on. We have NOT discovered all there is to learn from nature and have barely scratched the surface. Imagine what happens when humans can reproduce the combined strength and flexibility of spider webbing!

But how do we learn from nature? By pulling organisms from their habitat and trying to observe them in the lab? No. The first step is to accept a humble respect for our natural world. The second is to submerge yourself in it and simply observe. When was the last time you sat quietly in a local park and did nothing but observe? Even in the San Franciscan metropolis, there exist such profound natural processes in our parks that often go unnoticed. I challenge you this month to take the time to stop and watch something in the natural world. Not just for a minute, but for a while. You might see something you would have never expected.

Marcus Wojtkowiak

Marcus Wojtkowiak

Facility Coordinator

I LOVE learning new things. More than I love learning new things, I love sharing awesome discoveries about our world with others.

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