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The Da Vinci Science Center presented its 2014 Vitruvian Volunteer Awards Thursday to Jim Henry of Allentown, Pa., and Rick Sell of Macungie, Pa., during the Center’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.
The Vitruvian Volunteer Award is the highest honor that is given to a Da Vinci Science Center volunteer. Named after Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man image, the award recognizes the ideal volunteer’s balance of enthusiasm, inspiration, and commitment to bringing science to life and lives to science.
Da Vinci Science Center volunteers are as young at 15 years old and as young-at-heart as people in their nineties. The nonprofit Da Vinci Science Center has more than 175 active volunteers who have provided more than 6,300 hours of service during the Center’s current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2014. The Center engages approximately 125,000 people annually with its exhibits, experiences, and programs in the community.
The Da Vinci Science Center Center’s volunteers have been especially critical to the Center’s success in recent months as the Center’s growing popularity and several weather-related postponements brought about days of increased school field trip visitation in April and May of 2014, said Lin Erickson, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO.
Henry, a retiree from Agere Systems, has been a Volunteer Exhibits Technician and an Exhibit Floor Volunteer for 11 years. Sell organizes the work of the Center’s Volunteer Exhibits Technicians and is the leader of the Center’s contingent of Air Products retiree volunteers.
The Da Vinci Science Center always welcomes new volunteers ages 15 and up. The Center’s new Teen Exhibit Floor Volunteer Program offers students who aged 15-17 opportunities to gain important experience during their summer breaks and inspire Center visitors to enjoy the wonders of science around them. Volunteer opportunities for adults include guiding visitors on the exhibit floor; working on a variety of tasks in the Center’s offices; and constructing, installing, and repairing exhibits. All volunteers must complete a clearance process along with an interview and training.