Thinkery Volunteer Spotlight: Tom


The Thinkery Blog regularly features one of our amazing volunteers and their fantastic work at the Thinkery. This month we feature Tom, who joined us through Intel’s Encore Fellowship program for retirees. Read all about his fun work here at the Thinkery. If you’re interested in volunteering, check out our Volunteer page


Tom brings energy and enthusiasm to his work at the Thinkery.  He is eager to be a part of the team and has jumped right in to helping with EdExchange.  His next project will entail organizing our digital curriculum resources into a searchable database – no small feat! Robin Gose, Ed. D., Director of Education

Working with Tom in classrooms has been a blast! He found himself diving head first into technology education this semester and has done a spectacular job adjusting to the dynamic nature of what we do. He was a consistently positive presence in our classes and the students enjoyed working with him. Always eager to contribute, Tom has been a great addition to the Thinkery team! Rory McDougal, Technology Educator

Thinkery Volunteer - tom preston encore fellow &reaven-sims- tech reach_20141223


Name: Tom Preston
Role (s) at Thinkery: Tech Reach, Exhibits, Special Projects


How long have you been volunteering here?
Since mid November 2014 (11/17/14)


Where did you go to school and what was your area of focus?
I graduated from New Mexico State University in May of 2013 with a degree in Information and Communication Technology and retired from Intel in December of 2013. I’m working at the Thinkery through Intel’s Encore Fellowship program for retirees.


Why did you want to volunteer/intern at the Thinkery?
I really liked the Thinkery’s emphasis on STEAM related learning and thought my electronics background combined with a recent IT degree might help facilitate that in some small way. During my first visit, I saw what a cool place it was and I was sold.


What is your favorite exhibit/program of the museum and why?
I’d have to say it’s the one I’ve had the most experiences with, Tech Reach. I liked how it introduced different forms of technology to the kids out in the community who might not otherwise experience it.


What has been your best moment at the museum?
I’ve had a lot of best moments and they all seem to center around meeting really great people, who appear to genuinely have kids and their best interests at heart.


What is the best story you have about working with our visitors?
It would have to be one afternoon when Tech Reach was working with the Boys and Girls Club at Sims Elementary. On one side of the classroom, there was a group of 4th grade girls sitting together. They were singing, programming with Scratch, and working with the Makey-Makey game controllers they’d built. They were also helping, sharing, and being kind and polite with each other. It was really heartwarming, and I remember thinking to myself, “Now THAT’s how the world is supposed to work”.


How has your work here influenced your life?
It’s just like they said in the brochure for the Encore Fellowship Program, you get to see another side of yourself and another slice of life.


What is something in your life that you LOVE?
Dan’s Hamburgers


What is your all-time favorite thing to do on your time off?
Golf. I haven’t played much in the last few years due to school, work, and preparing for our move back to Austin, but it’s something I hope to do more often this spring.

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