Dan Sudran did well in school, went to college, received his law degree and yet he felt like he didn’t belong in high academics. In his 30s he did some tinkering and found that he really liked science, once he got past the whole rigor and rules of it in the classroom.
He now runs six workshops in primarily low-income neighborhoods, named “dream garages,” where he has collected an assortment of gadgets, tools, and various scientific sundry. In them he lets children play with discovery and the excitement of science, with no limits or restrictions on what they can do.
His workshops require about $50,000 a year to maintain, and most of that is funded through grants. Sometimes however, grants take too long. Sudan describes finding a beached whale one day and spending several weeks cleaning the skeleton; he now brings the whole thing along with him on school trips and lets the kids learn how to put the 36-foot skeleton together.
This kind of outreach, the uninhibited allowance of scientific imagination in our youth, is absolutely essential if we are to grow as a developed nation. Dan should serve as an example to all of us.