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  • Writer's pictureFrank DiGiovanni

It's not "Goodbye"...

I am sad to announce that I will no longer be employed by the Science Museum of Long Island and will be off to start the next adventure at the end of summer camp. I started writing the blog with the blessing of a previous administration and got nothing but encouragement and support since my first post went live. I was never told "don't write that" or anything like along those lines. I was only ever supported to write about whatever idea that came to my head or whatever endeavor that happened here at the Museum. From my Children's Garden Workshop to writing about the loneliest spot on Earth, the Eagle Scout projects done here on the ground to the history of SMLI, like the Leviathan Room or the very building the Museum calls home, writing all this has been a labor of love.

Seen through the lens of time, watching SMLI manage its way through the most incredible thing I have ever witnessed, in COVID-19, has shown me that this place can and will survive anything, including my departure.

I am grateful for the privilege that has been afforded me in what I've taught to all my students. Once again, I was never told "No, you can't teach that.", rather I was told "How are you going to make it happen?" my curiosities, indulged and my want-to-teach, encouraged. Many of the students that I've had in my class have been taught topics that have been well beyond their level but made to be understood because I have been able to draw on my education as an Elementary teacher and combine it with my love of sciences to make it understood by their young minds. I've seen 3rd graders understand parts of the New York State reference table for Earth Science or watched as fear changed to awe when they learned about the incredible adaptations of some of the most-feared animals that we have here: Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, our Arizona Blonde Tarantula and the Ball Pythons that call this place home.

I've witnessed the kind-heartedness and true sadness of students of mine when they say "Goodbye" for the summer or just after a program ends. I've giggled at phonetic spelling mistakes and had my heart touched at the sentiment behind them. Or listened to them complain that I'm not their teacher for a class and they "really wanted me to be" (their teacher).

Photos of notes from former students of mine.

I have watched the entire staff change from when I was hired but the passion behind the new people remain the same. I've seen how, what originally felt like hare-brained ideas, have been encouraged and allowed to become popular classes such as the Children's Garden Workshop or the not-so-smoothly-named Structural Design, Building & Testing class which allowed the students to learn about blueprints and engineering then allow them to follow their own designs to create a tangible structure and sometimes, test to it to failure point; a vital part of engineering.

In truth, I do not know who, if anyone, is going to take over this blog but I am sure whomever does it, will do their best at it, just as I have. While I won't be writing new posts, please don't stop looking and reading what's already here; writing for this audience (however big) was love.

I will be sad to leave the Science Museum of Long Island, a place I've called home for just about 4 and 1/2 years, yes. But we must leave "home" in order to grow. I watched as my first group of summer campers (1st graders) grow up and now participate in the oldest group of campers... and now I know, I'll probably never see them again. Don't be sad that it's over, be glad that we had time together.

As someone who feel passionately connected to space, I'll choose to think "Who know what the universe has in store for us?" I want to take this time to say "Thank you" once more. Thank you for letting me teach your kids my favorite subject, thank you for entrusting me with your most valuable possession and thank you for allowing me to share my passions about Science, Technology, Engineering and yes, Math. It has been my pleasure teaching, encouraging, showing and learning with them.

Thank you, for everything.

Comet Lovejoy | © Getty Images

Like a comet...

It's not "Goodbye"... It's "See you soon."

-Frank, aka "Mr. Frank".

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