Tornados, compasses and science – these words don’t usually come to a teenager’s mind at the same time as “summer vacation”. But for Cory Bradley, science is just part of his summer volunteering experience at the Science Place in Fair Park.

The Science Place offers interactive exhibits and programs, and it’s the oldest hands-on museum in the Southwest. The 13-year-old Bradley began volunteering last summer.

“Instead of being a couch potato all summer, I decided to volunteer,” he says.

Bradley became a classroom assistant for Summer Science, a “science camp” for kids. Among his tasks: Helping kids with projects such as simulating a funnel cloud with a jar of water and soap solution, and building a compass from a bottle. He also led tours of exhibits.

Bradley volunteered 106 hours during the summer, earning recognition as the teenager who worked the most volunteer hours.

“He’s the kind of person who has never met a stranger,” says Karen Knaub, Science Place volunteer coordinator. “He has really endeared himself to everyone here.”

When he returned to Longfellow Career Academy last fall, Bradley continued to volunteer during school vacations. During the Christmas and New Year holidays, for example, he participated in Santa’s Workshops and the New Year’s Eve Camp-In, when he spent the night at Science Place with more than 250 children, ages six to 13.

“We stayed up late, did the countdown and celebrated with hats and whistles,” says Bradley, who recommends volunteering to other teenagers.

“Kids should volunteer because it keeps them from having idle minds, and it keeps them from getting into trouble. Besides, it’s a fun experience.”

Will Bradley be back for Summer 1992?

“Definitely,” he says.

The Science Place has volunteer opportunities available for all ages. Volunteers can assist with crafts, activities and demonstrations for preschool children at Science Place, and they can present educational programs for students at their schools. Tour guides also are needed, and volunteers are needed in the gift shop, office and guest services desk.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Volunteer Center (826-6767) is a United Way agency serving as a clearinghouse to recruit and refer volunteers for more than 750 Dallas agencies. Thousands of volunteer positions are available. Among the examples:

SPRING IS IN THE AIR, and hundreds of volunteers are needed for Dallas Blooms ’92 at the Dallas Arboretum. Volunteers can conduct DeGolyer House tours or serve as garden guides, parking attendants or concession-stand attendants. Volunteers also are needed to work in the membership booth and to assist with children’s activities. The event is scheduled from March 7 to April 12.

WORK TOWARD PREVENTION OF CHILD ABUSE. The Family Outreach Agency of East Dallas provides counseling and educational seminars concerning the detection and prevention of child abuse. The agency needs volunteers for its speakers bureau, to perform one-on-one casework with families, and to assist with telephone intake and referral.


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