Volunteers — or “Sparks” as we call them — are the lifeblood of many nonprofits. The Powerhouse Science Center is no different. Our small staff and diverse community benefit immensely from partnering with the people who live, work, recreate, and retire here. From those who love science to those who are just learning, the Powerhouse can use your help. Sparks have allowed visitors of all ages gain an understanding of science concepts by facilitating hands-on activities and demonstrations. Sparks support the Powerhouse as a rich cultural asset and historical gem by welcoming members and greeting tourists. Sparks have provided expertise in the garden, with special events and activities, for art installations, professional STEM content, historical preservation and more.

Frank Masiarz is a superb example of this kind of unique partnership. After completing his PhD, Frank began his career in San Francisco at Chiron Corporation, a biotechnology company. As a protein chemist, Frank employed amino acid composition , sequence analysis, and mass spectrometry to aid in the development of the first hepatitis B vaccine, HIV/AIDS blood tests, and treatments for multiple sclerosis and hemophilia. He also worked in the development and support of exhibits at the Exploratorium, America’s most well-known hands-on science museum. He’s brought this expertise to the Powerhouse, leading two Pub Science events, advising the education department on content, and creating and maintaining numerous exhibits.