As part of KPCC's "Season's Givings" series, KPCC's Molly Peterson talks to volunteers at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.
Peterson: Henry Abrash taught chemistry to college students. His audience today is a little easier: 7-year old Amy Chen, and her brother Albert. They're visitors from Philadelphia.
Henry Abrash: They're learning about lenses, telescopes, and having fun. Rather then tell 'em, I let 'em try things out and see it.
Amy Chen (giggling): Your head looks small.
Abrash: She knows it's the wrong way, but she likes to make things look small.
Peterson: The Science Center trains volunteers, but there's no test.
McCaleb: I am not a scientist in any way.
Peterson: Orientation taught McCaleb about Van de Graaff generators and vascular muscles. He says enthusiasm is the skill volunteers need most when they meet with a busload of kids.
McCaleb: They're so excited and rambunctious, and they want to learn, but they can't admit they want to learn. When they're a huge group, you can do a huge spectacle of science with them.
[Sound of virtual reality soccer game]
Peterson: He says stoking children's curiosity is his reward.
McCaleb: I want people to be empowered to question reality and understand it for themselves and not have to believe what someone else tells them.
Peterson: Believe the Science Center when they say you can go to their Web site – CaliforniaScienceCenter.org – to download an application to help out.