Garden One

Accepted Proposal: Case Study at Museum Computer Network's 50th Annual Conference, in Pittsburgh, PA, November 7-10th, 2017. This presentation centers on a project called Garden One, an edible indoor garden system. This garden is a community partnership with Paul Seim (ATT), IoT Fuse, Lab 651, Women in Tech and more. One special community partner is Rebecca K (Becca). She was a visitor at Better World Museum's first Family Day. She introduced herself as a "Specialist in Nitrates" and I asked her to tell me more..

We chatted for 10 mins and I gave her my card. She looked me up, talked it over with her mom, and emailed me. At the end of our first video chat, I offered her the position as Director of Science and Innovation, not an Intern or Volunteer. Why would I do this? What is she doing to fill this roll? Was I afraid to take this risk? NO. No, not at all! Becca is great - she started an Instagram account, is creating Science Cards, growing and documenting a personal home garden, and will be a future ambassador in local schools to implement Garden One systems into STEAM and Life Science Classrooms and other public spaces. 

 Becca @lifeorb_better-world

Becca @lifeorb_better-world



What happens when a museum makes a teen a Leader? Better World Museum appointed a 12 year old, "Director of Science and Innovation" for an indoor edible garden project. Her responsibilities include researching plants, managing social media, and a blog. However, she has exceeded these expectations by creating a program that uses connected technological devices and public place-making to help bring sustainable solutions to starving communities. This Case Study will examine how one 12 year old can be an effective museum leader, despite lack of advanced education, professionalism, or expected teen behaviors. Follow this presentation for a study in risk-taking, teen leadership, unexpected rewards, challenges, problem solving, and stories that defy expectations of what it takes to be a museum leader today, as well as this Teen-Director's impact on the greater community. 

Teen leadership can be risky. What they will post online? Why does GenerationZ use social media differently than GenX? Why is it essential for them to play with a cat during a FaceTime meeting? These questions evolved into how to prepare a teen to present museum projects to ATT Executives, and other tech companies, with positive results? This Case Study shows how one teen is helping urban teens confront racial and economic inequities with edible indoor gardens in schools. This is a place-making project using creative technology for future solutions, in vulnerable communities, for future environmental sustainability, directed by a 12 year old museum leader. Participants who witness this Case Study will want to put a teen right into a leadership role.