​Our Mission

Our mission is simple: to make science, technology, engineering and math come alive.


Our Vision

A community where all people value science, technology, engineering and math to inform decision-making and enrich lives.


Guiding Principles

  • We help people learn STEM by doing STEM and believe that it is best learned through real scientific challenges.
  • We cultivate creative, innovative, critical thinkers for the 21st century.
  • We support a learning culture that encourages curiosity and experimentation.
  • We bring people together by creating welcoming, fun and high-quality guest experiences.
  • We strengthen our community impact by collaborating with other organizations and connecting to STEM resources in our region.
  • We ensure our future by maintaining our long-term fiscal and staff sustainability.

2017-2021 Strategic Business Plan

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Leadership

Kirsten M. Ellenbogen, Ph.D.
President & CEO, Great Lakes Science Center

For thirty years, Dr. Ellenbogen has been in the business of researching and developing learning experiences that make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) come alive. She began her tenure as third President and CEO of Great Lakes Science Center with a strategic initiative developed in collaboration with corporate leaders to change the community’s narrative around advanced manufacturing for diverse middle-school youth and families. Most recently she is launching Cleveland Connections: a new initiative integrating emerging technologies such as blockchain and industrial internet of things to education and empower youth in developing personal and community solutions. Her energetic leadership on national initiatives includes serving as co-principal investigator of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Ellenbogen's research focuses on measuring the community impact of science centers, designing learning experiences to facilitate science talk for families, and using scientific visualization technologies to engage the public in exploring complex phenomena. She was appointed to Section X of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and to the National Academy of Sciences' committee that produced the volume, Learning Science in Informal Environments. In 2007, she was elected President of the Visitor Studies Association. In 2010, she was awarded a Noyce Fellowship focused on using museum resources to help policy makers use scientific evidence to inform decision-making. She has been awarded the Community Inspiration Award at STEMCON in 2015 and the Crain’s Women of Note Award in 2017. Most recently she was appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice.

Dr. Ellenbogen is chair of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance Visioning Committee and has been appointed to the Cleveland Mayor’s Sustainable City Committee and the Planning and Urban Design Committee of the Group Plan Commission. She serves on the boards of the Cleveland Water Alliance, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and Cleveland’s MC2STEM High School. She received her Ph.D. in Science Education from Vanderbilt University and her B.A. from the University of Chicago. She lives in Shaker Heights with her husband, a Cleveland Metro School District teacher, and their two children.

 

Scott Vollmer
Vice President of STEM Learning, Great Lakes Science Center 

​Scott Vollmer joined the senior management team at Great Lakes Science Center in November 2017, after 10 years at the National Inventors Hall of Fame in North Canton. Vollmer worked in a variety of roles at the NIHF, most recently serving as the institution’s vice president of creative and program development. During his time there, he led a diverse team of designers, scientists, educators and engineers to create products and experiences that advanced the pioneering spirit of America.

In his new role as vice president of STEM Learning at the Science Center, Vollmer directs all of the museum’s STEM learning initiatives including programs for school groups, the general public, early childhood, home school, Great Science Academy, day camps and the volunteer staff.

Vollmer is a passionate leader whose career is firmly rooted at the intersection of creativity and innovation. He believes the Science Center is an institution for change and can be an essential catalyst within the community for nurturing the next generation of STEM leaders. Vollmer is excited to work with Science Center President & CEO Kirsten Ellenbogen in articulating the museum’s mission to current and future community partners.

Vollmer is a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio. In addition to his extensive work at NIHF, he served as executive director of After-School All-Stars Cleveland. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Akron. He also holds several utility and design patents and received three Addy Awards for excellence in advertising.

He lives with his wife, Celeste, and son, Isaac, in Akron.

 

Amy M. Pausche
Vice President of Development, Great Lakes Science Center

Amy joined the Science Center in April, 2018 after serving as development director at the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland for the last three years.

As vice president of development, Pausche is responsible for all aspects of revenue generated by the Science Center outside of the box office, including grant applications, individual and corporate giving, planned giving, sponsorships and fundraising. The Development Department also coordinates the Science Center’s annual report to the community and the activities of the Garrett Morgan Professionals Group.

Pausche has a true passion for helping non-profit organizations achieve their goals. Before joining the Ronald McDonald House, she led the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Cleveland as executive director from 2009 to 2014, and prior to that, helped the same organization as campaign manager for the successful Light the Night Walk and Man & Woman of the Year campaigns. “I love seeing the magic that happens in the collaboration between the folks that fund these amazing organizations and the wonderful individuals who receive their services. It’s an incredible feeling to help transform dollars into experiences,” Pausche said.

As a native of Northeastern Ohio, Pausche is a big Cleveland Indians fan. She also coaches baseball for kids and enjoys spending time with her family exploring the Cleveland area and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. She currently sits on the board of The Union Club in Downtown Cleveland, and co-chairs an alumni committee for her alma mater, Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

 

Amanda R. Taunt
Vice President of Operations, Great Lakes Science Center. 

Amanda joined Great Lakes Science Center in July 2011 after serving as a manager with the Hertz Corporation and has served on the Science Center's executive management team since October 2019.

As vice president of operations, Taunt leads daily operations of the marketing, admissions & registration, membership, private rentals and facilities & security departments. She also oversees partner contracts for the Science Store, Levy Restaurants and the parking garage.

Taunt's departments coordinate most visitor facing aspects of Great Lakes Science Center, from before a visit occurs to a guest's experience while onsite and as they are leaving. With over 10 years of experience in guest services, she has a passion for delivering exceptional guest experiences in a way that makes visitors feel welcomed, engaged and inspired at the Science Center.

Taunt is originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan and currently resides in Olmsted Falls with her husband, Mike. She graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a bachelor's degree in Political Science. She is a graduate of Disney's Approach to Quality Service program and the YWCA Women's Leadership Bootcamp. Taunt enjoys reading and traveling in her spare time.