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Most teenagers spend their free time online or watching TV, but not Irene De Haan. Irene is a junior at the Academy of Art, Careers and Technology where she specializes in engineering and computer aided design (CAD). Irene has designed rovers for student-led competitions held at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and participated in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge, where she designed human powered vehicles. You would think all of that would keep her busy, yet she still has time to be an active member of the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada.
At just 17 years old, Irene has contributed significantly to her community. She describes herself as “unreasonably passionate about science,” and we at The Discovery would have to agree—though we believe she is very reasonable! Irene has loved our science center since it opened in 2011, which is why it’s no surprise that she has been nominated as our Creative Art Director for the Teen Advisory Committee.
The Teen Advisory Committee is a group of dedicated and enthusiastic local teenagers serving on a leadership council that plans, supports, and promotes teen initiatives at the museum. They serve as volunteers to help further develop teen programming and to assist with community outreach and events, including The Discovery’s annual Teen Science Night. Irene has been involved with the Committee since it was founded two years ago. She helped the Committee grow from eight to sixteen members in one year, and she continues to be passionate about planning science-themed events for young adults.
Even though our Teen Advisory Committee has nearly doubled in the past year, Irene would still love to get more of her peers involved. Her advice to interested teens is that the Committee is a “fantastic group to join; you will get to collaborate with your peers who have similar interests, be able to fully express your imagination and creativity, and there are always snacks!” If you are anything like Irene, this Discovery team of teens might be the group for you.
To be eligible to join the Teen Advisory Committee you must be going into 8th-12th grade, reliable and enthusiastic about science, and interested in gaining museum knowledge. You also must attend monthly meetings and commit to service for at least one academic year. As a member of the Teen Advisory Committee, you will receive a free membership to the museum, earn up to 25 community service hours, a letter of recommendation, and a Teen Advisory Council certificate.
To learn more about how you can get involved with the Teen Advisory Committee, please contact The Discovery’s Volunteer Coordinator, Valerie Gillette, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (775) 398-5947. And save the date for The Discovery’s next Teen Science Night on March 10, 2017!