Big Give 2021

March 11, 2021

BIG THANKS for helping us meet our Inspiring Tomorrow Big Match Challenge, and for going beyond! Your generosity during BIG GIVE—UC Berkeley’s annual fundraising blitz—resulted in donations totaling $40,125, and additional prize money based on donor participation, in just 24 hours. These funds will directly support our science learning experiences in ways that prioritize equitable access and outcomes—in person, online, in our science center, and in the community.

We are so grateful for your support during BIG GIVE, today, and every day. Thank you for helping us to Inspire Tomorrow.

Inspiring Tomorrow

All generations need to be prepared to identify opportunities and address the world’s complex challenges, and The Lawrence Hall of Science plays a critical role in meeting this need. We empower educators with the tools to improve science learning. We engage diverse audiences so that the world of science will look like the world at large. We inspire tomorrow’s thinkers, inventors, and change-makers.

Kim, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and AI technology executive

As a young child, when my mom would drop me and my best friend off at The Lawrence for magical afternoons wandering through the Hall playing with all the exhibits. It was exhilarating.

My most formative experiences at The Lawrence were the many hours I spent as a young girl, together with my best friend, on the computers downstairs. There was a program called Eliza installed on the terminals. Eliza emulated a psychotherapist and was one of the earliest demonstrations of Artificial Intelligence and natural language processing (NLP). I would go home with rolls of printouts of my conversations with Eliza (like real-life psychotherapists, Eliza mostly communicated in probing, riddling questions). The time I spent with Eliza sparked my fascination with computers, software, AI and propelled my eventual career in computing.

A decade later, as an undergrad at Cal, I had a part-time job at LHS teaching computer programming to adults and children (including a class called “Micros for Micros”). I also helped program a robot that welcomed the Chinese Premier for a visit. A few years later, I got my first job in Silicon Valley, at the first AI company to go public. Later, I led the launch of Java at Sun Microsystems, and I subsequently co-founded as CEO one of the first Internet software companies, Marimba, which is now one of the world’s leading IoT platforms.

Today, I’m co-founder and Chair of an AI company that uses NLP, Machine Learning and Collective Intelligence to help teams make more accurate decisions and predictions. This in turn is helping expand capital flows for the highest potential innovations, as well as underinvested teams and regions. I directly trace my life’s work in computing to those magical afternoons as a young girl exploring the wonders of The Lawrence. Become a Member →

Read below to discover how moments at The Lawrence helped inspire scientific learning from a young age.


Young Dan and Current Dan

Here at The Lawrence, moments of discovery are an everyday occurrence. Dan started collecting bugs as a kid, and soon discovered that his love of entomology was encouraged here by our staff and volunteers. He participated in science classes and activities throughout his childhood, worked as a summer camp counselor at The Lawrence during college, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from UC Berkeley. Today, as a professor and Chair of Entomology at the University of Hawaii and director of that university’s Insect Museum, Dan educates and inspires a new generation of bug-lovers.


Young Michelle and current Michelle

Inspiration, too, happens every day at The Lawrence. Michelle developed a love of science and technology at an early age while attending summer camps at The Lawrence. She earned an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and marine biology from UCLA, and a M.Ed. degree at UC Berkeley. Today, in the same building where it all started for her, Michelle coordinates STEM learning programs and initiatives that inspire the next generation of innovators, educators, and citizens.


Young Ken and current Ken

Fascination is sparked and lifelong pursuits often begin here at The Lawrence Hall of Science. Ken first visited the Hall as an 11-year-old in the 1970s. Here, he saw an early-model computer and fell in love with the idea that it could “think.” Fascinated by these machines, he was inspired to learn more about how they worked. Ken has since spent his life investigating and inventing new frontiers in robotics and artificial intelligence. He obtained his Ph.D. in computer science, with a focus in robotics, from Carnegie Mellon University. Today, he is a professor at UC Berkeley, where he envisions and builds ways for AI to help humanity.

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