The Santa Maria Discovery Museum is bringing in a new education director, Ilsa Toepfer, as a part of its expansion to the center.
The position is new to the museum, created to help inspire families to enjoy a more creative learning experience upon visiting.
Toepfer is accepting the position with more than 15 years of experience in education, including her time as a teacher in traditional classrooms, homeschooling and charter schools.
She also has a background in theater and hopes to bring the elements of the stage to the dynamic of the facility.
“Get them thinking and get them curious and get them wondering while they’re playing, so they don’t realize that they’re learning,” Toepfer said about her approach to her position.
The Santa Maria Discovery Museum is celebrating its 23rd year of being open to the public by developing new educational activities for children and their parents. It plans to start new STEAM programs and limited-time pop-up programming.
Toepfer will help with the expansion by creating special field trip events for students in third to fifth grade to help complement the curriculum they are learning in their classrooms on a daily basis.
Other additions include more farm-to-table display education, marine life studies and inventor workshops.