STEMcell educates and entertains in Kendall Whittier
The unique science shop is part mad science laboratory, part curiosity and part nexus for all scientific interests.
Terry Mudge, owner of the STEMcell, doesn’t remember exactly when he became interested in science. It’s more like he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t. “When do you learn your favorite color?” he asks.
Mudge had always wanted a place like STEMcell, where customers could come interact with scientific tools and artifacts. He was working in natural gas in 2015 when he pitched his business idea for the new Boxyard: “Sort of a Willy Wonka factory, but with science,” he says.
The business opened its doors in December 2016 and met great success. It was so successful, in fact, that STEMcell had to move to its new Kendall Whittier address just to have enough space for customers and to accommodate online and subscriptions orders. Mudge and his friend, artist and local mad scientist Tyler Thrasher, set up their new shop at 2415 E. Admiral Blvd.
STEMcell is experience-oriented. Dinosaur bones are on display alongside radioactive element samples, old lab equipment and other scientific paraphernalia.
Mudge also helps Tulsans connect with new scientific ideas. Through the shop he organizes Think and Drink, a monthly science talk hosted by Kendall Whittier neighbors Heirloom Rustic Ales. Held on the second Thursday of every month, the talks give experts on a variety of subjects a chance to talk about their passions. Past Think and Drinks have covered subjects like rare diseases, clean energy, scientific literacy and dinosaurs.
Ever passionate about learning, Mudge continues to study new subjects that pique his interest.
“I’ve never really had an idle time in my life, as far as learning goes,” he says.
He recently bought some old geiger counters to experiment with, along with some radioactive samples. “But in a month or so,” he says, “I’ll shift on to something else.”
2415 E. Admiral Blvd.
11 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday; noon-5 p.m., Sunday
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