Following tradition, the LDP members volunteered their MLK holiday at Carbondale’s local Science Center. This year we had a range of projects to tackle such as, painting, assembling a Rockenbok display, decorating ceiling tiles, and I lead a team that was tasked with extending and relocating a wall. The task itself was not exceedingly difficult; however I was also very interested in ensuring everyone learned the skills required to do such a task. The LDP members come from all kinds of different backgrounds, we all share a major in the STEM field but have had different experiences throughout life that taught us an assortment of skills. I saw this project as an opportunity to accomplish two goals: one to help the Science Center by completing this task, and the other to allow members of my group to share and teach each other what they know about basic carpentry.
Fostering this teaching mindset was key to accomplishing this, I often found myself encouraging members to try new things and ask for help. I hope each member of the group can say they learned something new during the course of this project. Often the toughest challenges provide the best opportunity for learning. We faced two big challenges with this project, the first being moving the wall without it collapsing. The wall was free standing and made up of individual sections, in order to slide it over top of the carpet each section had to be moved in unison with the others. We were able to accomplish this through well-coordinated teamwork and carefully applied pressure. The second challenge was ensuring all trim pieces were carefully taken down and put back up. These are delicate and only had a little spare trim to replace any broken pieces. We were able to remove it all without anything breaking, this was due to our slow methodical approach to prying it off the wall.
Knowing the impact we have made at the Science Center gives me a sense of pride. I can say I have helped the children of Carbondale have a better experience there. Each opportunity I have to volunteer at the Science Center is always exciting. I know that we will always be challenged and this allows us to grow as a stronger and happier LDP.