We are pleased to welcome JJ Leissing as Thinkery’s new Vice President of Educational Programs. JJ has spent her career working in leadership positions at nonprofits and informal learning institutions which includes children’s museums, science centers, and zoos.
As the Vice President of Educational Programs, JJ will oversee the strategic vision for all of Thinkery’s educational initiatives, including Little Thinkers Preschool, camps and after-school programs, and professional development. “I’m very excited to be joining Thinkery, and continuing to grow and expand our impact throughout Austin,” JJ said. “Informal STEAM education provides a vehicle for meaningful learning connections and important 21st century skill development like creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking.”
JJ is excited to bring her experience and leadership to support the high-quality, play-based STEAM education for which Thinkery is already known. She’s eager to work on expanding the museum’s reach and creating greater access for underserved and under-represented parts of the community. As part of her vision for Thinkery’s educational future, she will work closely with local community organizations to develop meaningful partnerships that promote exemplary educational programming and initiatives.
“Play is a great equalizer that enables children to investigate and explore their interests and curiosities, which builds a foundation to meaningful problem solving,” JJ said. “We take play seriously and have a responsibility to make learning accessible and fun for the next generation by promoting and encouraging curiosity. At Thinkery, learning is never-ending and part of an ongoing, iterative process.”
While new to the Austin area, JJ is excited to explore the beautiful and vibrant city and connect with the community. “Some of my greatest passions are museums, great food, and live music,” JJ said. “So I know I’m in the right place.”