Inspiring the Next Generation: An Alumni Interview

The Jackson Hole Children’s Museum is inspiring the next generation of creative thinkers in Jackson Wyoming. We interviewed 5 TSS Graduate Program alumni helping to lead the Museum to hear about their work, reflections and connections to the TSS Graduate Program. Thank you to Jean Armor-Lewis (’04), Julie D’Amours (‘99), Hatalie Lemke (’03), Julia Spencer (’15), and Nick Koinis (’15) for sitting down with us!

How does what you learned at TSS apply to your work at the Children’s Museum?

A: The Graduate Program is passionate about wanting learning experiences to be centered around students. The Jackson Hole Children’s Museum is a place created around this purpose: our every-day challenge is to center learning around the kids.

A: The way we work together and our planning system – it’s collaborative. It’s more collaborative than any other job situation I’ve had. It’s a wonderful relationship between [TSS] cohorts 20 years apart.

A: I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t do the grad program. I made a complete career shift. I would never have found this opportunity. This was really profound for me. Finding what I want to do in the world.

What was the most meaningful part of your year at TSS?

A: Friendship and collaboration.

A: There was something to me about really connecting with the natural world. I left TSS not just enjoying it, but I started to look more closely at the things around me. I started studying plants, geology, etc. It was empowering for me to talk about this place. I learned in how to be a teacher in the Grad Program

A: The foundation of no matter what you go on to do – it serves you well to be a better educator. I think almost anybody form any background wanting to anything can benefit. You get all these skills – forethought, attentiveness, reflection. These are good skills to navigate the world. It can help you work with people.

How does your work at the Children’s Museum impact our community and the world?

A: We tap into a child’s imagination and creatively in a way that they feel inspired to keep learning and imagining and creating outside of the museum. They take risks. This is place where they get to be life-long scientist.

Visit the Graduate Program of Teton Science Schools website or JH Children’s Museum website for more program information!

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