Montshire Profile

Burke Cunningham, May 2011

What is your connection to the Montshire?
I am the Assistant Manager of Facilities. With the help of four part-time employees that I supervise, I help the Facilities Manager with the day-to-day building and grounds operations.

This time of year, I spend an entire week getting the water flowing in Science Park. With the help of my crew, we also set up the Summer Camp sites. During the year, we unload visiting exhibitions off of semi trucks, set up the new exhibits, move exhibits, and store others. We cut trees that have fallen across the trails, wash all the windows, including the outside of the tower and the Honey Bee exhibit. We clean, sweep, vacuum, pick up, dust, paint, build, repair, mow, shovel snow...the list just goes on and on.

What is your favorite exhibit?
The Bubble Exhibit. Everyone has a good time with the bubbles.

What do you wish everyone knew about the Museum?
That we have the coolest pavilion in New England and that the Museum, Science Park and pavilion can be rented for parties, weddings, receptions & reunions.

Is there one word you would use to describe the Museum?
Family—We all feel like family here and it's great to meet our families visiting the Museum.

When was the first time you came to the Montshire?
1999—The summer that I moved here from Michigan.

What do you wish we could do that we aren't doing now?
Someday, I'd like to see Museum visitors arriving by canoe or kayak.

What is the best kept secret at the Montshire?
Maybe the amount of time it takes to collect, bag and freeze all the leaves that are required to get the ants through the fall, winter and spring.

What is your favorite Montshire story to tell?
Each year that we open up Science Park is a story unto itself. Before starting the pumps, we turn on over thirty-five valves (including three that are underground and require digging holes to access), install 27 filters, sweep and clean the Rill, climb down into and clean the 5,000-gallon reservoir that holds all the water for Science Park, add the chlorine and test the water. Then we start up the pump and keep adjusting certain valves until it's just right.


Montshire Museum of Science Engage the Senses