Thinkery is Austin’s home for “why” and “how.” A place where science and families play side by side. Where people connect with ideas by doing, making and experiencing. It’s a foundry for a new generation of innovators and creative problem solvers. And it’s a heck of a good time.


To create innovative learning experiences that equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers.


A creative community with a passion for lifelong learning and discovery.

Key Values

We will be INCLUSIVE by making every facet relevant and accessible to all.

We will promote EXCELLENCE as a dynamic standard for which we serve at the very best of our ability.

We will amplify RESPECT by treating people with honor and dignity.

We will spark INNOVATION by embracing risk and seeing failure as lessons learned.

We will encourage PLAYFULNESS with the confidence to let go and enjoy.

We will foster COOPERATION by working together to form a collaborative best.

We will unleash CREATIVITY by exploring the path between what is and what can be imagined.

Museum History

Austin Children’s Museum was founded in 1983 by a grassroots group of parents and educators who wanted local children to have more educational and cultural opportunities. At that time, we were a “museum without walls”—our founder drove tabletop exhibits around town in her station wagon and presented activities and programs in schools, parks, libraries and, yes, even malls.

In 1987, we settled into our first brick-and-mortar home—a 5,000-square-foot building on W. 5th St. For the next 10 years, we presented exhibits, experiences and educational programs for local kids and families. During this time, we developed exhibits that traveled to other children’s museums around the country, gaining quite a reputation.

By the mid 1990s, Austin was booming, and we had outgrown our home. Fortunately, the community recognized the importance of our organization and supported an expansion campaign. The result was our 1997 move to downtown Austin’s warehouse district. Relocating to our 2nd St. facility through a 10-year, rent-free lease was a huge step for Austin Children’s Museum, but we knew when we opened the doors that Austin was growing and we’d eventually need to expand.


In December 2013, Austin Children’s Museum became Thinkery and opened at its new location—a 40,000-square-foot facility in the Mueller community. Thinkery delivers its mission through a variety of exhibits and programs that focus on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). Museum activities revolve around educational experiences led by staff, so each visit is different from the last!
Thinkery Soft Opening November 2013 thinkery 2013

2017–18 Executive Committee

2017–18 Executive Committee

Susan Espinoza, Board President
Pantanal Investments

Jessica PalvinoPast President
Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Richard McDonell, President Elect
Mint Builders, LLC

Lisa Zapalac, Treasurer
the number lab

Greg Dickenson, Secretary

Members at Large

Travis Arthur

Andy Bell
National Instruments

Drew Bixby

Elizabeth Bray

Daniel Cooley
Silicon Labs

Liana Frey

Karen Harrell
HR Executive Services, LLC

Lisa Henken Ramirez

Rachel L. Irvin
U.S. Trust

Amy Clark Meachum
Judge, 201st District Court

Melissa Morrow
West Austin Youth Association

Stephen Shang
Falcon Structures

Gerri Tunnell

Colin Westmoreland

Lisa Zapalac
the number lab

Past Presidents

2016–17  Jessica Palvino

2015–16  Yuen Yung

2014–15  Peter Donovan

2013–14  Carla Pineyro Sublett

2012–13  Russell Young

2011–12  Rosalind George

2009–11  Jed Buie

2008–09  John Graff

2006–08  Sylvia Maggio

2005–06  Judy Corder

2005–06  Shannon Ratliff, II

2004–05  Susan Engelking

2003–04  Juan Garcia

2002–03  Kirk Dando

2001–02  Gerald Torres

2000–01  Gregory A. Kozmetsky

1999–2000  Marla Bommarito-Crouch

1998–99  Jim Susman

1997–98  Lynn Meredith

Museum Administration

Patricia “Trish” Young Brown, Chief Executive Officer, joined Thinkery on January 17, 2017. Trish has more than 20 years of experience leading multiple healthcare and community based organizations, most recently as President and CEO of Central Health, the Travis County Healthcare District created by the voters of Travis County in May of 2004. Trish is a long time member of the Austin Area Research Organization, a nonpartisan group of 100 community committed business leaders that champion regional solutions to regional challenges. She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Denver. She is currently a part-time student at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest pursuing a Masters in Spiritual Formation (MSF) degree.


Devin Thomas, Director of Finance, has been working with nonprofit organizations across the country in the areas of finance and operations for more than fifteen years. Before he began working at Thinkery in 2014, he was the Director of Operations for Artspace, a visual arts center and artist studio building in Raleigh, NC where he led the organization to develop benchmarking and analytic tools for measuring performance and designed a three-year budget process. Prior to that position, Devin was the Business Director for InsightLA, a mindfulness meditation center in Los Angeles. Trained as an orchestral musician, Devin has a BS degree from Indiana University and began his career working in the administrative offices of symphony orchestras, serving for several years as the Executive Director of the Norwalk Symphony in Connecticut. When he is not at work, Devin enjoys cooking, listening to (and making) music and being a dad.

Jessica Campos Hernandez, Director of Development and Marketing, brings more than a decade of fundraising experience to Thinkery, having spent the last 12 years working in fundraising and development at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining Thinkery in 2017, she was a Major Gifts Officer at the Cockrell School of Engineering. Jessica holds a BBA in Marketing from McCombs School of Business at UT Austin. She enjoys spending her free time cooking, as well as traveling with her husband and twin boys.

Adrienne Barnett, Director of Learning Experiences, has more than 17 years of science education and museum administration experience working in science/children’s museums, including Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA and Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, CA. In 2015, she returned to her hometown of Austin to join Thinkery, bringing her passion for informal education and a commitment to community engagement. She’s been an Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Diversity & Leadership Fellow since 2010 and has a BS in Geology from the University of Texas, a Master of Museum Studies and Master of Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA. When not at work, she loves taking her son, daughter and dog hiking and swimming in her favorite childhood spots like Bull Creek and Lake Travis.

Privacy Policy

Thinkery is firmly commitment to your privacy. We do not collect personally identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information to us. Providing such information is strictly voluntary. This policy is your guide to how we will handle information we learn about you from your visit to our website and museum.

Use of Links

Within our website, we may provide links to other servers which may contain information of interest to our readers. We take no responsibility for, and exercise no control over, the organizations, views, or accuracy of the information contained on other servers. Creating a text link from your website to our site does not require permission.

Use of Text and Images

If you would like to publish information that you find on our website, please send your request to Where text or images are posted on our site with the permission of the original copyright holder, a copyright statement appears at the bottom of the page.


This website is designed to be accessible to visitors with disabilities, and to comply with federal guidelines concerning accessibility. We welcome your comments. If you have suggestions on how to make the site more accessible, please contact us at

Reading or Downloading

We collect and store only the following information about you: The name of the domain from which you access the internet, the date and time you access our site, and the Internet address of the website from which you linked to our site. This is all information obtained from Google Analytics. We use the information we collect to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of our site and to help us make our site more useful to visitors.

Contact Information and Donations

If you complete the online profile update form and share your personally identifying information, this information will be used only to provide you with more targeted content. We may use your contact information to send further information about our organization or to contact you when necessary. You may always opt-out of receiving future mailings—see the “Opt Out” section below.

In supporting Thinkery—whether through donations or membership—we will ask that you provide personal information to us, including name, address, email, and phone number. This information will be used to correspond with you regarding your support. We will never sell your personal information. We will occasionally share Member information, specifically names and addresses (we will never share your giving history, phone number or email address) with like-minded nonprofit organizations in Austin. To request that your name and address not be shared, please send an email request to

Sending us an Email

You also may decide to send us personally identifying information, for example, in an electronic mail message containing a question or comment, or by filling out a Web form that provides us this information. We use personally identifying information from email primarily to respond to your requests. We may forward your email to other employees who are better able to answer your questions. We may also use your email to contact you in the future about our programs that may be of interest.

We will not obtain personally identifying information about you when you visit our site unless you choose to provide such information to us. Providing such information is strictly voluntary. Except as might be required by law, we do not share any information we receive with any outside parties.

If you sign up for one of our email lists, we will only send you the types of information you have requested. We won’t share your name or email address with any outside parties.

Opt-Out or Change Your Contact Information

You may choose to receive only specific communications (such as our newsletter) or none at all. You may also update your contact information previously provided to us through another online form. You cannot remove yourself from our database, but you can prevent unwanted communication. To request that your name and address not be shared, please send an email request to

Photo Policy

Photography and filming are conducted by Thinkery for marketing and educational purposes. Entering the museum and/or purchase of an admission or program ticket constitutes your consent for Thinkery to use any photos, images or film it deems appropriate without payment, inspection or review.

All rights to the photographs and video belong to the museum. If you want a photograph or video removed of yourself or dependents on any of our web channels, please contact us at

Feel free to take photos and post about your visit. We love seeing and sharing (with permission) visitor photos on our social media outlets—when posting your photos, add the hashtag #ThinkeryATX so we can see them, too! When photographing more than just your group, please be considerate and respectful of other visitors’ privacy.


If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this website, you can contact us at

Thinkery is funded through a combination of philanthropic gifts and earned income. Additionally, the museum is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at