Arts and sciences with The Works

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Some might say this is a match made in heaven. No, not Prince William and Kate Middleton—it’s Denison and The Works that can’t get enough of each other.

The Works is a unique museum, just down the road in the city of Newark. It calls itself a “hands-on learning, creating and doing place,” where “people of all ages can have fun and be inspired by history, technology and the artistic accomplishments of the community they serve.”

The museum covers an entire city block and boasts a print shop, wood shop, sawmill, railway car, and two-story exhibit space with science labs, glass studio, art gallery, science theatre, digital media classroom and central gallery.

Where does Denison fit in? Everywhere. It’s that “hands-on learning” thing that makes this a good match and creates a cavalcade of opportunities for Denisonians to take part in teaching the arts and sciences to local kids.

Take chemistry professor Joe Reczek and students of the Denison Chemical Society, for example. They volunteered at The Works’ Science Nights, doing fun stuff like setting balloons on fire to foster the children’s discovery of chemistry.

Psychology professor Nestor Matthews and members of NERD (Neuroscience Education Research at Denison) taught young students about the brain and performed neuroscience demonstrations.

Both Matthews and Reczek, along with their Denison students, will participate in The Works’ STEMfest event on Feb. 13 to teach middle and high school students the importance of real-world science, technology, engineering and math.

In the visual arts, professors Ron Abram and Karl Sandin have presented programs at The Works; alumnus Dave Richards ’45 displayed his basket weaving talents; and alumna Jane Heller ’47 exhibited her paintings in the gallery.

Denison President Dale Knobel, a history scholar and active member of the museum’s board, helped to set up a three-lecture series on the real causes of the Civil War. And history professor Mitchell Snay will lecture on Stephen A. Douglas, the Democratic Party, and the conditions that led up to the war.

These are just a few of the ways Denisonians are serving central Ohio’s children and families through The Works, but it’s a connection that runs deep. And they’ve only just begun.

Video featuring Assistant Professor of Chemistry Joe Reczek:

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