Sam Dean was hired to help build Amazeum from the ground up.
Bentonville, Ark. – NOV. 30, 2022 - This month marks 10 years of leadership from the Scott Family Amazeum Executive Director Sam Dean. Throughout his tenure, Dean has accomplished amazing feats, including the conception, planning and execution of building and opening the physical location, recruiting and stewarding the team that implements the mission of the organization, and daily management and oversight needed to grow a nonprofit. Dean was recruited by a local board of directors to lead the organization from the ground up and has been improving the lives of those connected to the Amazeum ever since.
“The chance to be able to pull a team together and create a new space is pretty rare,'' Dean said. “It was pretty special to be able to make this vision and dream of the board come alive.”
The Amazeum continues to grow at an exponential rate. Dean credits the Northwest Arkansas community and the ability of the Amazeum to be flexible for that growth.
“The community comes together and works in a really concerted way, even through points of conflict,” he said. “Our ability to be part of the growth and partner with organizations is remarkable.”
Of course, changes have needed to occur along the way, “being mindful of opportunity, and being part of those greater NWA planning and education discussions” has allowed the organization to thrive. Since opening its doors, the Amazeum has welcomed 1,441,766 visitors, hosted 169,258 students for “Unfield” trips, and participated in over 500 offsite educational and outreach events.
The Scott Family Amazeum aims to create an environment where families have the opportunity to laugh, imagine, play, question, and explore together, and that these experiences will lead to curiosity and further exploration at home and in school. Dean’s 24 years in the industry, which include working at COSI (Center of Science and Industry) Toledo, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and the world-renowned Exploratorium, have uniquely prepared him to triumphantly implement the vision and mission of the Board of Directors.
“There’s something powerful with laughter and joy and play. The Amazeum is a nutrient dense place; it’s fun and it’s a great place to learn,” Dean said.
The Scott Family Amazeum is a hands-on, interactive museum featuring Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) activities for families. Located at the intersection of J Street and Museum Way in Bentonville, the Amazeum experiences include a climbable tree
canopy, indoor cave, the 3M Tinkering Hub, Hershey’s Lab, Nickelodeon PlayLab, the Market sponsored by Walmart, and nearly one acre of outdoor space. For more information about the
museum, visit www.amazeum.org.