Dave Stroud

  • What I do, where I work

  • What I am doing now:

    I have been at Thanksgiving Point developing exhibits for a year now!

    Man, my team and I have done a ton of projects!

    The most important to me is the Try It! Lab. It is part shop, part science museum, and my desk on the floor gives me a front row seat to guest interactions. The few months it has been open, have taught me more about how people really learn and use exhibits than perhaps in the rest of my career. I have become an anthropologist of sorts, living in the jungle, studying interactions closeup every day. The ability to make a prototype, put it on the floor, watch people use it, and immediately make changes makes me wonder how I ever worked any other way.

    My team also created a Nature Explore Classroom, the Soil To Market exhibition in Farm Country, and worked through the design/development phase of the Museum of Natural Curiosity with ROTO Studio from Ohio.

    We developed dozens of individual exhibits and prototypes as well, including Herbivore Masks, the Video Dance Instructor, PolyHedra, Gear tables, human powered trains, mirror stuff, funiture, wind tubes, video kiosks, eliptical putting green, a new approach to interpretive panels, various signs, and —well I guess I am just bragging at this point.

    My team and I have so much fun that it rarely seems like work, but we almost never stop!

  • Current position

  • Manager of Exhibition Development at Thanksgiving Point

Earlier positions

  • exhibit fabricator at Discovery Gateway

  • elctro-mech-tech at the Exploratorium

  • Fabrication shop manager at Modern Display

  • Dad at our somewhat chaotic house

  • Exhibits & Facilities Manager at Discovery Gateway


  • More about me

  • I like to make stuff, learn stuff, and have a little fun.
    Okay, a lot of fun.

    I have always been a fabricator (and I build exhibits too…!)

    I love to work with wood, steel, computer programming, and interesting, enthusiastic people.

  • Jumbo Foam Building Blocks

    Jumbo Foam Building Blocks

    Case Study

    by Dave Stroud Published May 16 2014

    Five hundred identical jumbo foam blocks cut from 4 inch thick rigid foam insulation are the sole components of what surely ranks among the most engaging exhibits I have had the pleasure of developing. Guests often build for longer than 20 minutes...

  • Vertical Wind Tubes: An Introduction to Transactivity

    Vertical Wind Tubes: An Introduction to Transactivity

    Case Study

    by Dave Stroud Published March 12 2010

    Vertical Wind Tubes: An Introdction to Transactivity Shrieks of joy and amazement fill the Try It! Lab. Coffee filters fly up and out of an enormous clear plastic tube. Kids chase after them as they float gently down from about 16 feet in...

  • Try It! Lab

    Try It! Lab

    Case Study

    by Dave Stroud Published February 22 2010

    The Try It! Lab started as a supplemental exhibit to a small exhibition of about a dozen rented physical science exhibits in a too big space. I asked to move my team, including myself, into the space. It grew into something else… Description and...