Tim Pula is the Interpretive Exhibits Inventor for the Lemelson Center’s Spark!Lab at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In his current role, he specializes in creating activities that encourage museum visitors to explore and engage in the history and process of invention. Prior to his work in Spark!Lab, Tim was integral in the programming of hands-on museum lab spaces at Discovery Place in Charlotte, North Carolina and at the Gulf Coast Exploreum in Mobile, Alabama.
He is self-taught in the area of activity design and passionate about the use of advanced manufacturing equipment. Tim uses this passion to rapidly turn ideas into functional and engaging activities for large volume audiences. As part of his process, Tim regularly invents parts, structures, and processes that reduce barriers to visitors’ exploration of their own inventive identities. Some examples of Tim’s hands-on activities include: Tweak a Prosthetic Hand; Invent a Piece of Protective Gear; Create a Multi-Use Space; and Produce Great Sounding Beats.
Tim presents at professional conferences, including the American Alliance of Museums, Association of Science and Technology Centers, Construct 3D, and National Science Teacher Association. His presentations focus on creative problem solving, the process of invention, and the integration of advanced manufacturing technologies as a tool to develop custom components that enhance informal education environments.