Community Science Administration
Siinya Williams is the Senior Director of the Community Science Department for the Saint Louis Science Center. She has a Bachelor of Science in business management from Fontbonne University. Siinya has been employed at the Saint Louis Science Center for more than 20 years. She first started as a reservationist for Visitor Services and then was quickly promoted to the Box Office Assistant Manager. She was later promoted to the Manager of Visitor Services, which included the Box office and Reservation Departments. After 10 successful years Siinya accepted an opportunity offered by Diane Miller, Senior Vice President of Community Science and Programs Department to be ￼an informal Educator for the Youth Exploring Science Program (YES), a nationally recognized program conceptualized in 1996 with the goal of working with teens from communities traditionally underrepresented in science-related career fields throughout their high school years to increase their interest in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). After accepting that position, Siinya moved up to the Manager of Community Partnerships and Events, then to the Associate Director of Community Science. Upon VP Miller’s departure to pursue other career opportunities, it was only fitting for Siinya to take the reins and lead the Community Science Department.
Marlynn Chambers is the Manager of the Youth Exploring Science Teen Ambassadors and Outreach Programs for the Community Science Department. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, with emphasis in Psychology and Sociology from Tennessee State University. Prior to joining the Saint Louis Science Center in 2011, Marlynn managed youth employment and educational programs for an anti-poverty social action agency and taught early childhood special education. Currently, Marlynn also manages the Youth Exploring Science On-the-Job Training (OJT) and teen integration in the Saint Louis Science Center’s galleries and internal departments.
Mia Harsley is the Manager of Operations for the Community Science Department. Mia has a Master of Science in secondary education from Grand Canyon University and Bachelor of Science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Mia has several years of experience in education. Early in her career she taught high school science. Later, she became heavily involved in student council activities and various high school incentive programs to increase student attendance, academic performance and school pride. While working with inner-city schools she noticed that many were low on teachers, supplies and students were not given a path to explore and learn about career opportunities outside of their communities. This discovery was the catalyst to the Youth Exploring Science program. Through YES, Mia brought science education to various schools and established a wide base of community partners for YES teen recruitment. She coordinates monthly and annual events to increase STEAM career awareness and community support, such as the YES Networking Extravaganza, College Fairs, Community Science Showcase and Community Partner Meetings.
Timothy Mulhall supervises the Aerospace component for the Youth Exploring Science program and is the Manager of Youth Development for the Community Science Department.
Tim has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Social Work from Saint Louis University and has a background of working with youth in out-of-school programming. Prior to the YES program, he delivered customized programs on character education, anti-bullying, healthy relationships and body image, and designed programming to meet developmental and academic needs of K-5 students for daily after school programs at the Progressive Youth Connection. Tim has been with the YES program since January 2007. In addition to supervising teens, Tim has worked on several grants such as the National Partnership for After School Science, Learning Places, and City Science and Youth Opportunity Program. The work involved delivering customized programming to schools and community groups and organizing and delivering large scale events for community partners such as Family Math Nights and Family Science Nights, and Science of Sound demonstrations. Tim has such a passion for youth development and social work, whereas he acts as a field instructor for social work students from area universities. Aerospace involves the topics of aviation and astronomy. Working closely with Boeing, NASA and our own Planetarium, teens will progress through activities around astronomy research, flight and what it’s like to live in space. Teens will learn how to fly an airplane by using advanced flight simulators and Discovery Flights at the St. Louis Downtown Airport through a partnership with Southwest Airlines.
Kerry Stevison supervises the Agriscience component and is the Manager of STEaM Content for the Community Science Department. Kerry has a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her career in the Zoo Museum District (ZMD) began at the St. Louis Zoo as an interpreter. She then moved on to the Saint Louis Science Center as an intern with the Collections Department. She has been with the Saint Louis Science Center for many years, designing and implementing various school program such as shark dissections, and manages the Science Center’s Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Prize for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics.
Michael Harris supervises the cyber security component. He believes that technology is the future and is avid supporter of putting it in everyone’s hands. Michael is trained in the disciplines of web development, app development, A+, and Security+. He has worked at a hospital for several years which has allowed him to have a deeper understanding of human life. He has supported and volunteered with the SPCA numerous times, also being a member of a social club has allowed him to give back to the community in ways he never expected. He has been working with the community throughout his life and is glad to continue with the YES Program. The cyber security component focuses on understanding the technology and issues of cyber security, how it impacts our daily lives, how we can detect and prevent online threats to make our devices and hardware safer from attacks.
Bill Stanard supervises the Engineering component and is the Manager of Technology for the Community Science Department. He earned a Bachelor of Art from Princeton University and a Master of Art from Dartmouth College. A lifelong secondary school teacher (and learner), he transitioned into computer science in the 1980’s and robotics in the 21st century. Bill became an engineer by building boats in New England and Florida. He believes in empowering youth by giving them the technological tools to become problem solvers through digital literacy. He is trained in the maker environment, Linux, Python, and mobile computing, as well as competitive robotics. Before joining the Community Science department, he was Director of the non-profit Tech Collaborative STL. The engineering component focuses on designing and building robotics. Teens use CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, 3D printers, laser cutters, metal cutting routers to design and build parts for metal robots to battle in the USA’s biggest robotics competition. The engineering Teens will embark on a new journey, building a working display model of a riverboat steam engine.
Lauren Patrick supervises the entrepreneur component and co-leads the New Teen Summertime Science Component. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with a minor degree in mathematics and a Master of Science in secondary education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has spent her entire career working with and teaching children in the educational field. She taught high school science for the Jefferson City School District for several years. She has worked for organizations such as the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools, and enrichment program for youth. The entrepreneur component teens work in project-based learning communities to create products, businesses, and to educate and empower others to do the same. Teens create and sell products and will finish out the year with a solid business plan designed to showcase STEaM content. Each year the entrepreneur will compete in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) competition.
Aric Wanagat supervises the Integrative Medicine & Well Being component and is the Manager of College and Career Readiness for the Community Science Department. Aric believes education is an important process that encompasses students, teachers, parents, and the surrounding community. He received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in general science and sociology. Aric was a substitute teacher in the Collinsville school district and worked in the Madison school district as a first-grade teacher in the Excel after-school program.
Taunia Allen Mason supervises the Media Production component and is the Manager of Community Science Media for the Community Science Department. Taunia is a multi-Emmy Award winning producer. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication with an emphasis in television production and performance from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. Her career began as a public affairs producer at Gannett’s KSD and KUSA radio station. She later made the switch to television at KLPR TV Channel 11 where she’s worked as a show producer in Public Affairs. Since then she’s held a number of positions such as an executive producer for a nationally syndicated talk show, communication specialist for major corporations and the principle in her own production company, GoGetter Productions. Taunia has a vast knowledge of television production and gladly shares her expertise with the YES teens and the community science department. The Media Production component immerses teens in the fast-paced television/media production environment. Students are tasked with writing, producing and editing videos about each YES component, and work on various projects with the Saint Louis Science Center’s Media Production department. Teens will gain experience in studio production, recording video and audio, editing, lighting, still photography and many other lucrative skills found in the entertainment industry. The free-form nature of the Media Production Lab allows teens to gain hands-on experience, rather than a mundane routine in a formal classroom environment.