Green Country Grown-Up: Broc Randall
Creating an experience using science.
Where can kids make fossils, see a Megalodon (giant shark) tooth, create an earthquake and learn interesting facts about science? At the Tulsa Geoscience Center (TGC) in downtown Tulsa where Broc Randall brings science to life. He is the Executive Director of TGC and works to make sure that over 5,000 kids a year, and grown-ups alike, do more than enjoy their experience – they learn about science.
With summer in full swing, we are highlighting this hidden Tulsa treasure, tucked away on the second floor of the One Main Plaza Building downtown. It is literally packed full of interesting and interactive exhibits providing hours of hands-on educational entertainment.
We caught up with Broc to learn a little more about the man behind the center, find out what they are currently looking for as well as get a glimpse of some future goals for TGC.
TK: Tell us about your family:
Broc: I’ve been married for 15 years to Candace Randall. She is a school teacher at Jenks Northwest Elementary. We have 2 kids, Ben (12) and Cate (5).
TK: What does your family enjoy doing around Tulsa?
Broc: We love visiting all the Tulsa Parks and are excited for the Gathering Place to open.
TK: Where are your favorite places to eat?
Broc: Our regular family dining place is Jason’s Deli on Cherry Street. Braum’s is the kids’ favorite.
TK: Do you have a favorite quote?
Broc: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein
TK: What three words best describe you?
Broc: Excited, Teacher, Creative
TK: When you’re not at TGC, how do you spend your time?
Broc: I am a digital artist and love creating. (Broc’s art is displayed on several walls at the center.) TGC is a non-profit and part-time position as it is growing, so I also work as a freelance graphic artist.
TK: What do you enjoy most about serving as the director of Tulsa Geoscience Center?
Broc: I’ve been the director of the TGC for the last four years. I love developing activities that engage learning. Each activity we develop must be three things: educational, hands-on and fun.
TK: What are your top three exhibits?
Broc: Florescent Room (Dead Zone), Rock and Mineral Fossil Dig, and the Petroleum Lab
TK: What do you feel makes the TGC unique?
Broc: Visitors will leave with more knowledge and a better understanding of how nature works though activities that meet State and Federal STEM educational guidelines. All the exhibits provide hands-on learning and personalized attention for questions, explanation and create excitement about science.
TK: What are the center’s hours of operation?
Broc: It is by appointment only so we can ensure that we have the proper staff assigned to help guide kids through the activities to maximize their learning experience. The center is open a limited number of hours, so it is important that you book a tour date and time a few days ahead of your visit. Schedules and calendars are constantly updated and available online, so it is easy to make the request prior to your visit.
TK: What is the cost for admission? What does that include?
Broc: The cost is $8 per student (child) and adults and teachers are free. The admission fee also includes a rock, mineral and fossil kit.
TK: How do you envision the center evolving over the next five years?
Broc: Our vision is to build an Energy Museum that covers energy past, present, and future. The museum will be filled with interactive exhibits that essentially all focus on energy, from fossils fuels to renewable energy. Tulsa has a rich history in oil, and I believe this needs to be showcased. We will continue to run the center as an educational center for students.
TK: What are your current needs at TGC?
Broc: I am a one-man show and in order for me to keep the center running successfully, I hire interns, who are interested in science, to help me with the needs of the center. The internship program provides a great way to learn about how the center works as well as help with the day-to-day operations. The students who just finished their internships were from Street School. They volunteered three days a week during their six-week semester, but other interns typically work a four-hour shift one day a week. As a non-profit, we are also interested in identifying prospective board members who have a heart to help expand this program, especially someone interested in grant writing and fundraising.
To contact Tulsa Geoscience Center about scheduling a visit, applying for an internship, or serving as a board member, go to tulsageoscience.org or call Broc at 918.392.4556, Tulsa Geoscience Center, 610 S. Main Street, Suite 200, Tulsa, OK 74119.