2015 Colby Award Rick Burnes

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” m rick burns and i actually became involved with the museum as a player to to be named later in the merger between the computer museum and the science museum ve spent my career. Supporting young emerging technical companies with capital and advice. And it was clear to me that that the the entrepreneurs that were starting emerging companies that they were the future for the growth of our country. You could see that one of their big problems was getting the right kind of employees and that there just weren t enough technically trained younger people and that s what the museum is all all about that over the last ten years.

The museum has done a terrific job of developing an education program with its curriculum and the other activities of the nct l. It s educating both the citizens of boston and the whole country in the importance of not only digital education. But engineering education and getting more people to think about engineering. I think another factor is a little more idealistic in the way i look at it is that an informed citizenry is important to a good democracy and when i talk to people about about why the museum is important i say it s because we need a healthy economy.

We need a healthy democracy..


We need a we need voters who understand why changes are taking place and and where where they potentially can lead and the museum can play a significant role in turning that around when i go back and talk about how we got here yanis plays a critical role in his very first interview with the search committee. He asked us would you guys have any interest in a k to 12 curriculum. I think there s a need for a a k to 12 curriculum in this world kids aren t getting enough exposure to the engineering world you know and we all looked at one another. And said.

Wow. That is a wonderful idea. I think when the history of the stem movement is is written and when people think about it that the museum of science will clearly play a role and yanis mules were played a role. But everybody knows what stem is today.

But that was not the case at that time and yanis was saying and the board was saying and the board adopted a as part of its mission to bring more science and technology education into kids lives into students lives..


I think that this museum should be very proud of the whole question of how can we possibly raise a quarter of a million dollars. And the answer was we have to do it because the mission is really important if i were to put one point as to when we saw that we could really do it. It was first gift that bernie gordon gave us and and i wouldn t we said well bernie s gonna do that we can get others. And it was really a groundbreaking opening for us in the development area.

Well. You know the story of the hall of human life is really a nice one because it was clear that here in boston. The hub of the world of biotechnology. And that we needed to have a much better human life exhibit and it was really henry tamir.

Who when approached on the to think about it..


He said think bigger and it was really his urging that we raised our sights in terms of what could be done. I m very proud of the fact that you know it reflects the leadership of the museum and the leadership of boston. We ve been very fortunate in our relationship with with pixar. It really goes back to star wars and the relationship with lucas.

And that was such a success that those people wanted to work with us after after disney purchased pixar. The same people wanted to do another major project with us and their major objective was to to show the world the importance of the of the mathematics behind their technology. And it s wonderful to be able to take a subject that is as much fun as pixar with the characters that they have and bring in these sophisticated mathematical concepts and kids get it people get it it s a good example of just. How well respected.

The the science museum is is around the country in that they came to us because we have the capability to teach that kind of technology..


And so what we ve done here is to bring the museum into the 21st century. It s been fun watching an organization evolve into a role of dominance in technical education and engineering education that s what this museum is all about and that s why i support it this museum is about the future. This museum is about new ideas. This museum is about training people to think differently.

It s about the ability to to understand the way things are working. Now and then to think about how they might work in the future. It s about the future of kids. It s about their ability to grow to realize their potential and that s that s the kind of organizations that we like to support ” .

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