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A Spark in Her Step

Lisa Duke explores the unique intersection of science and physical fitness as one of this year’s Museum of Discovery Spark! Stars.

By Rebekah Hall | Photography by Rett Peek | Shot on location at the Museum of Discovery

   The Museum of Discovery annual Spark! Gala celebrates the museum’s continued mission work: to ignite and fuel passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math through dynamic, interactive experiences. It provides critical support for the museum’s programs that enrich the lives + minds of the youth in Arkansas and illustrates the multitude of career opportunities that a STEAM education provides. Next month, Lisa Duke joins an impressive group of Museum of Discovery Spark! Star honorees – all recognized for professional excellence in careers that require the intensive study of science, technology, engineering, arts or math.

   Museum of Discovery Chief Executive Officer Kelley Bass was introduced to Lisa and the unique business model of Orangetheory Fitness by a Spark! committee member. He was impressed by her dedication and invited her to become a Spark! Star, part of a group of individuals recognized for their professional excellence in STEAM careers. Kelley notes that the Spark! committee works diligently to select a diverse group of Spark! Stars each year. “Lisa Duke is certainly an example of this diversity because there’s a lot of science involved in your workout at Orangetheory Fitness, so we really thought it was a way to illuminate somebody who’s using science in an uncommon way.”

   The Orangetheory Fitness one-hour, full body workout focuses on training in three areas: endurance, strength, and power. It’s heart rate-based interval training burns more calories than traditional exercise, and participants wear heart rate monitors that display their progress in real time on large screens around the studio. The intensity of the exercise is based on individual heart rate zones, making it a unique experience tailored to each participant. It’s this unique combination of science, technology and physical fitness that makes Lisa an ideal ambassador for the Museum of Discovery.

   The evening will feature science demonstrations and interactive activities throughout the museum, and the proceeds support programs like Science For All, Dollar Sunday and Girls in Stem – making STEAM education more accessible to all Arkansans. Kelley notes, “We hope kids come to realize that STEAM subjects don’t have to be intimidating; they don’t have to be scary, and to envision themselves doing it someday.” Lisa feels honored to be a Spark! Star. “I never thought I would be able to be a part of something so big, with science and technology,” Lisa explains. “This really opened the door to show me that you don’t have to specialize in one particular area, but if you look at the STEAM fields, you can find a path to use your skills to benefit other people.”

Inviting Arkansas
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