If It’s Not Fun We Are Not Doing It
The Story of Jupiter Jen
On August 21, 1999, Jupiter Jen (aka Jennifer Moorehead) founded Science Explorers in her garage. Less than a month later, Science Explorers was incorporated and the program launched spectacularly. With a home office for “mission control,” and her garage as a warehouse, she began providing after-school science programs to 18 elementary schools in southeastern Pennsylvania.
That September, she read an article in a local publication about a business plan contest with a grand prize of $25,000. Following in the footsteps of other great scientists, she conducted a bit of research. Then she telephoned a business-mentoring organization called SCORE, and received help with her dream and its plan from a terrific advisor. Jen worked on a business plan for Science Explorers that was read and evaluated by Ben Franklin Transformation Services at Penn State.
Jupiter Jen’s stellar project and plan reached great heights in December 1999—just three months after Science Explorers’ launch—when Jen traveled to Penn State to make a final presentation about her project. Jen and Science Explorers earned the contest’s Grand Prize of $25,000, which would help Science Explorers expand its mission.
With the award came special recognition. Beyond members of Jupiter Jen’s science club members, experts and judges on the contest panel understood and supported the mission to reach all children with science literacy … perfect timing since 17 more schools were on a waiting list for the programs.
In 2003, Jupiter Jen founded the S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation, the non-profit leg of Science Explorers. (Read more on page 30.) Jen and the dedicated staff of Science Explorers are now keeping science literacy alive and fun! Award and highlights for Jen and Science Explorers include: nomination for “Educator of the Year” through the Technology Council of Central PA. 2000; nomination for “Educator of the Year” 2007; recipient of “Making a Difference” 2007 through Technology Council of Central PA, and many others.
Jupiter Jen is happily married to Rob. They raise a blended family of five children , along with their yellow Lab Max and cats Mary and Cleetis.
First grader Lava Lauren enjoys spending time playing tennis, doing gymnastics, and writing stories in her journals. She likes problem solving and exploring, so science is a natural fit for her active young mind.
Jupiter Jen has been instrumental in Lava Lauren’s discovery of the wonder of science. Lauren has learned that science can be a thrilling adventure full of gooey messes and fun surprises. Lava Lauren has great aspirations that one day, she will be able to combine her great love for animals and learning by becoming a veterinarian.
Titanium Tommy is from the Honey Brook area and will be heading into the 4th grade in September. His love for Science and Social Studies was developed and inspired by his favorite third grade teacher, Mrs. Diedre Shappell.
Nine-year-old Tommy holds high aspirations for adulthood. He would like to blend his many passions. He wants to be a scientist that sells cool science products to other smart scientists. He also wants to be the president of a company that doesn’t pollute the earth.
Tommy loves animals. He has a hermit crab named Bat Hermie, and a 14-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, Emma. He enjoys ice fishing with his grandpa, ice hockey, bike riding, swimming, gymnastics and hanging out in his tree house with his family. The only time Tommy rests is when his head hits the pillow each night.
Sunshine Stephanie is Jupiter Jen’s favorite eight-year-old niece. She lives in northern Chester County with three big brothers, her parents, grandma, two dogs, a cat and 11 chickens. Stephanie will be a third grader at French Creek Elementary School in September. Her favorite subjects in school are science and gym. When she grows up, she wants to be a teacher, maybe a 7th grade science teacher.
Stephanie’s hobbies include acting and dancing. She likes to put on plays, swim, shop play lacrosse and write in her journals. Stephanie really enjoyed learning about the planets and endangered species in science class at school this year. She loves conducting science experiments– especially Jupiter Jen’s polymer experiment that turns liquids in a cup into a big solid monster mass in front of everyone’s eyes!
Solar Sarah, aka Sarah Troy, is the program director for The S.P.A.R.K.S (Science Projects Are Really Kids Stuff) Foundation. Education has been a passion of Sarah’s for most of her life.
Sarah earned a bachelor’s degree education at Penn State. She has ten years of experience educating young children. Most recently, Sarah has taught S.P.A.R.K.S. programs in elementary schools in Pennsylvania; Rochester, New York; and Bradford, Rhode Island. She is thrilled to be involved in Science Explorers’ and The S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation’s quest to bring high-quality, exciting hands-on, inquiry-based science education to all children regardless of their socio-economic status. She looks forward to introducing Science Explorers programs to additional underserved classrooms around the country.
Sarah is mom of three energetic young boys, William, Jacob and Ryan. With her husband Scott and her sons, Sarah enjoys traveling, camping, and watching T-ball games and swim meets. Sarah also likes volunteering in her sons’ schools, reading, and spending quality time with her extended family.