Thinkery Staff Spotlight: Chaleigh


This summer we’ll be dedicating part of our blog to highlight staff members who help make the Thinkery such an exceptional place.

In this feature we get down to brass tacks and talk thrift stores, dolphins, essential goodness and Einstein crushes with our effervescent Thinker, Chaleigh!


Why did you want to work at the Thinkery? How do you draw on your own experiences and passions in your role here?

When I entered the museum the first time for Thinkery 21, I felt like I was 5 years old again. I immediately began running around  and painting whales on the paint wall and trying to build structures with magnets. I was frantic, possibly manic. I lost my friends, but found aerial acrobats who showed me that I can get very close to flying. I splashed in water and hula hooped in shadows. At some point, I realized that this would not last forever. Thinkery 21 would come to an end and I would have to go home.

So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and apply for a job, so that my experience could last forever.

I strongly believe in the good of all people, the good of knowledge, and the good of play.  And, I am incredibly grateful that I have found a place where that incorporates these aspects into one (very fun, very educational, very happy) environment.


What are some of your hobbies and interests?

 I collect dead bugs, bones, rocks, and crystals. Basically, my room is really cool and borderline creepy. I recently got a microscope so I can look at everything I have seen a million times in a new way. I dig thrift stores, farmer’s markets, reading, hiking, and all adventures. And I spend way too much time researching how to build my own house and browsing craigslist free.


What is your favorite exhibit/activity/program at the Thinkery?

 Oh my gosh, Light Lab. I’m pretty sure I will need the team that created light lab to help me build a giant light wall in my house.


Walk us through a day in your life.

Say it’s a Sunday, and it’s my best Sunday ever.

I wake up early, go get a coffee— just kidding, I get 3 coffees.

Then, I head to the greenbelt and go on an awesome hike and swim with friends and dogs. And, I catch a fish. But, I let it go. Because I am nice.

And then I go get lots of food from the farmer’s market, because I just got paid and like to think I am fancy.

And then I go to brunch with a bunch of friends. And, we play a board game, because this is my fantasy.

And then we all go to Barton springs or some other swimming hole, and just relax until it rolls into night.

And then we all go to one of our haunts and talk and laugh and have a good time.


Tell us a fun, weird and/or memorable story about working with our visitors.  

I think one of my favorite things is to watch what kids can come up with on their own. The first time I saw a kid put little cut out people on the launcher she had made, I was stoked. It’s awesome to see kiddos exceeding activity goals, being creative, and having fun.


What’s your favorite food? Color? Movie?

I mostly like most things, so favorites are always really hard for me. I get sort of overwhelmed because I’m like, “but that’s good too, and I like that also!” and I don’t want tiramisu to get its feelings hurt if I say I like crème brûlée better. Just kidding, foods don’t have feelings. But seriously, I like dessert as a food group. I like the color green a lot, because it’s the color of trees and grass and leaves, and as for movies, I like “The Fantastic Mr.Fox.”


Biggest celebrity (or science world) crush?

Einstein. I recognize that what I’m about to say might be kind of gross, but isn’t he just kind of….sexy? Like, that rolled out of bed hair and that goofy smile.Gets me every time!


What would be your three “desert island” items (besides food, water, etc)? 

Coffee, Bed, …can I have a library?


Would you rather swim with dolphins or play with a herd of bunnies?

Why would you do this to me? I’m gonna say dolphins because I feel like that would be harder to accomplish. I am pretty sure I could put a few bunnies in my backyard and have a herd of them to cuddle in no time.


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