SCI Blog

At the Science Center of Iowa, our goal is to be a quality community resource for informal science learning where children, families, school groups and individuals of all ages come to explore science and technology.

To continue the learning outside our building, we bring you the SCI blog! Our knowledgeable staff, along with special guests and local scientists, will give you a behind-the-scenes look at SCI activities, in-depth information about science events and STEM connections in the Des Moines area.

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  • Meet the Makers: Dan Kreipke

    I moved from St. Louis to Des Moines in 2009 to study environmental science and policy and music at Drake University. Since graduating in 2013, I have worked in various laboratory settings and continue writing and performing music.

    Thanks to my academic background in science, sustainability and music, I’m excited for this summer’s Make@SCI themes, especially Reuse, Reduce, UPCYCLE and Noise Garden. The Make Movement’s emphasis on reusables resonated with my passion for sustainability.

    I hope to help visitors develop the Maker mindset—using ordinary objects to make extraordinary things. You’re not just a consumer but an ever-adapting DIY producer. Your creativity is the only limiting factor in what you’re capable of “Making.” And the more time you spend Making, the more you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned to your next creations, as well as everyday life. Being a Maker means using whatever skills you have to help solve nearly any problem in a hands-on, learn-as-you-go way!

  • Meet the Makers: Ellie Willhoit

    My name is Ellie Willhoit. I studied anthropology and environmental studies at Iowa State University. I found out about the Maker Education Initiative through volunteering for the Central Iowa STEM Hub, and it sparked my interest because I love to learn. I think one of the best ways to learn is through Making!

    I love all things outdoors. I enjoy kayaking, biking and running and am super excited about some of the nature- and conservation-based weekly themes, like Reduce, Reuse, UPCYCLE and Natural Wonders. I also enjoy crafting and have experimented with knitting, sewing and stitching. Recently, I built a raised garden bed for growing vegetables. I also enjoy tying flies for fly-fishing, knitting scarves and making stuffed animals for my nephews. I’m looking forward to exploring the world of circuitry and electronics. 

    I hope to inspire Science Center of Iowa visitors to explore STEM through Making, and approach unfamiliar topics with an open mind. If you’re not sure how something works, let’s take it apart and put it back together. If you’ve never built a fort before, let’s explore how to make it sturdy. Come find me in the Makers Studio!