Montshire Profile

Greg DeFrancis, September 2011

How are you connected to the Montshire?
I am the director of education

Can you describe your role in more detail?
I oversee all aspects of the Museum’s education programs—from deciding what programs and workshops to offer, to developing and managing large-scale science education initiatives and school partnerships, to teaching workshops for teachers. I'm also the principle investigator (PI) or assistant PI for many of our grant funded projects. I work closely with the four other professional science educators in our department (Amy, Mike, Rachel, and Rebecca).

What is your favorite exhibit?
Oh easy… I think the ants are amazing, a great story of social insects and evolution. Also, the see-through beehive. But wait, I think the fog exhibit in the balcony is beautiful. And oh, the viscosity tubes are a great way of saying welcome to our visitors. And, the ball floaters.

What do you wish everyone knew about the Museum?
The infinite possibilities (for all ages!) that exist at the Montshire for learning, exploring, and getting excited about science. And the absolute passion each member of the staff brings to their work.

Is there one word you would use to describe the Museum?
Inspiring, surprising, intellectually tickling… (oh, you wanted one word??)

When was the first time you came to the Montshire?
23 years ago, when the Museum was still in the old bowling alley on Lyme Road in Hanover (on the site near the new Coop community market).

What do you wish we could do that we aren't doing now?
We have some great programs and exhibits. I’m very proud of the work we do with families and children, and the support we provide schools and teachers. However, we are currently working on a variety of initiatives that target the ‘older’ child—ways to provide programs specifically designed for the 9- and 10-year-old plus audience. This is a great place for tweens, and we need to keep that age group excited about the Museum and science!

What do you find most rewarding about working at the Montshire?
Working with great staff. The variety of areas of science we work in. I love the opportunity to share my passion for science and learning with others. The opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from other institutions.

What is the best kept secret at the Montshire?
The amazingly diverse collection of exhibits and programs we offer, and the expertise it took to create them!

What is your favorite Montshire story to tell?
A couple of stories come to mind.  Driving through a snowstorm near the Canadian border years ago on my way to an outreach program. The exclamations of surprise from a family investigating their pond water under the microscopes at the Science Discovery Lab, or hearing from the teachers we work with about their students' achievement in science.



Montshire Museum of Science Engage the Senses