Matt Beyersdorf, our December 2015 Volunteer of the Month is a robotier extraordinaire (a.k.a. robot shop volunteer) who has been holding down a tricky-to-fill Saturday store shift for over a year. He knows our line of Kikkerland wind-up bots better than anyone and quickly helps visitors feel welcomed. His store shifts are full of jokes and engaging conversations with shoppers. Case-in-point: once, after chatting with Matt in the robot shop, a father and son returned to LSRS&R following a visit to Vault of Midnight, and Matt taught the son how to play his newly-purchased Pokemon game (the dad was at a bit of a loss).
Matt also brings hilarity and cheer to volunteer events and workshops. He created one of the all-time most amazing games for a volunteer social event — the game required extensive preparation on his part (rewriting the lyrics to songs to contain puns about places and musical artists) and then, as icing on the already impressively multi-tiered cake, he sang those songs aloud, acapella, in front of a large group of volunteers. This is just a small example of the bravery, creativity, humor, and fun that Matt brings to everything he takes on as a volunteer with students and adults alike.
His recent workshop called Copying Nature: How We Learn from the World Around Us, combined the scientific concept of biological mimicry with an imaginative writing exercise wherein students created their own new products that mimicked a biological adaptation of an animal they studied. Students developed such ingenious products as a synthetic clothing material modeled after whale blubber, a giant squid-shaped robotic submarine, and a winged-dress that is not only fashionable but that can help you fly over slow-moving crowds. Three thousand cheers and three thousand cakes with complexly delicious tiers to Matt for bringing his real-life passions to 826michigan and helping us lead fabulous programs and activities as a result!
Oh yeah, and he also happens to be engaged to another 826 superstar, Lucy Huber, January 2015 Volunteer of the Month. Way to open and close out 2015, you two!