Elizabeth Childers shares her enthusiasm, knowledge and kinetic energy at the Museum of Discovery as one of this year’s Spark! Stars.
By KD Reep | Photography by Lily Darragh | Hair by Kristen Spann with Red Beauty Lounge | Makeup by Juli Waits with Red Beauty Lounge | Shot on location at Museum of Discovery with the Tesla Coil
You can’t catch lightning in a jar, but Elizabeth Childers is as close to natural electricity as you will find. The director of financial and statistical analysis at Dillard’s, Elizabeth is also an adjunct professor for George Washington University Medical School where she teaches biostatistics and clinical research to graduate and medical students. Add to this her two basset hounds, Reggie and Fiona, her love of cooking, wine, traveling and the Arkansas Razorbacks, and it’s no wonder Elizabeth is the perfect ambassador for the Museum of Discovery. She’s a bundle of enthusiasm, knowledge and kinetic energy.
“I’m originally from Greenwood, Arkansas,” she says. “Since my dad got me my first chemistry set as a kid, I’ve always been interested in science and science museums. When I heard about the Museum of Discovery, I had to visit. It is amazing, and even as an adult, there are so many neat things to discover.”
Museum of Discovery Chief Executive Officer Kelley Bass recognized Elizabeth’s interest and immediately invited her to be part of the museum. “She is perfect for our science, technology, engineering and math groups,” Kelley says. “She is a natural for our Spark! Stars, and we’re fortunate she is so involved in this fundraiser.”
The fourth annual Spark! evening of fun highlights the museum’s mission fulfillment work – to ignite passion for science, technology and math in an interactive environment. Guests can learn, observe and participate in Spark! attractions from the UAMS Center for Distance Health, Snell Prosthetic and Orthotic, UALR’s Emerging Analytics, Innovation Hub and more. Elizabeth notes that one anticipated highlight includes a virtual reality experience of dissecting a human body.
“Elizabeth is one of the 10 Spark! Stars we’ll feature,” Kelley explains. “These are successful people with science careers, and they will discuss how people can get involved in science. We will also have posters where they explain what originally ignited their passion for science, technology and math.”
For Elizabeth, Spark! provides critical funding for the museum to invest in the programs that enrich the lives and minds of the youth in Arkansas. While she earned undergraduate degrees in chemistry and health science from the University of Arkansas, master degrees in epidemiology and biostatistics from the University of North Texas Health Science Center and her doctorate from the University of Arkansas, Elizabeth still remembers the awe and fascination of discovering science and its endless possibilities.
“You never know what event in a kid’s life could spark the moment when they decide science is cool,” Elizabeth said. “Exposing families to venues like the Museum of Discovery can not only create that spark in a kid’s imagination but also create long-lasting family memories. That’s a cool combo, and I’m honored I am included as a Spark! Star this year so I can help others have this experience.”