Meet our Educators! 

Kara Fedje; Vice President of Learning Experiences | 563-336-7296


Kara Fedje, Vice President of Learning Experiences, is committed to providing the community and all visitors of the Putnam Museum, inclusive, relevant, and impacting educational experiences. She has been a Museum Educator for the past ten years, working with children, families, schools, teachers, volunteers, & the general public.

Her experience began at the Putnam Museum as Education Specialist where she taught science for Putnam for Preschool, Putnam Explorers, afterschool enrichment, and summer camp. She was the Mary Ann MacLean Educator at the Illinois State Museum where she brought in over 7,000 visitors to play with science and art during Saturplay at the Play Museum. While with the Des Moines Art Center, Fedje implemented school programs and created Entirely Kids Day, free family days for thousands of children. She holds a MA in Museum Studies from Western Illinois University and BA in Fine Art from Augustana College. She has provided educational presentations for the Association of Midwest Museums, Figge Art Museum, University of Illinois Springfield, and is currently writing a publication for AAM's Museum magazine.

Fedje is a native of the Quad Cities, loves the Mississippi River, walking through the woods, spending time with friends and family, listening to music, riding her bike, making art, and relaxing with her kitty. 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” 
― Margaret Mead

Miss Lakin; Education Specialist | 563-336-7298


Miss Lakin is an Education Specialist at the Putnam. She provides programming through learning experiences for a variety of audiences at the Museum and in the community, and provides enrichment for after-school programs in the Quad City area.  Lakin started working at the Putnam in 2015. She enjoys connecting with and serving visitors in multiple ways, and engaging audiences in a variety of different settings.
Lakin received her bachelor’s degree in Book Arts and Graphic Design, with a minor in Business Management from St. Ambrose University. At Ambrose, she enjoyed working at the Catich Gallery and in the St. Ambrose Archives and Special Collections department.  Her passion for community and education grew during her internship experience as an education assistant at the Figge Art Museum.  At the Putnam, she enjoys teaching science and history in interactive ways through hands-on activity and experimentation. She finds encouraging curiosity and creative thinking while making connections to everyday life with the diverse exhibits featured at the Putnam rewarding.   
Currently, her favorite area in the museum features the Putnam’s 150th anniversary community photos. The display spans across the walls of the upper and lower levels of the Putnam’s grand lobby. The black and white photos, taken by Tom Styrkowicz, make an impact in the large space and celebrate the diverse community members of the Quad City area. She loves that community members came together at the Putnam to celebrate their history, experiences, family, and personalities in and through each photograph. 
If Lakin could have one item from the Putnam’s collection to call her own she would love to have an item from the Beautiful Bugs display cases. She would love to have the beetle and butterfly specimens that are arranged in a circular burst pattern to have for her self. She loves that the bugs are displayed in a way that is elegant and focuses on their beauty. The display highlights how scientists and artist find inspiration from iridescence found in nature.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
— Dr. SeussOh, The Places You Will Go!


Miss Bridget; Education Services Coordinator | 563-336-7308

Miss Bridget joined Putnam Museum and Science Center as the Education Services Coordinator in August of 2018. Bridget has a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. She has a strong connection to The Quad Cities and remembers visiting the Putnam on field trips as a child and more recently with her daughter’s school groups. After spending many years in a Sales and Merchandising Career, Bridget decided to make a change to a position with a purpose, and she looks forward to assisting school and youth groups to create their own memories of the Putnam.
“Yes, the mummies are still here” is the answer to the question she was most frequently asked upon telling friends and family she was accepting a position at the Putnam. Her favorite part of the museum is not an exhibit at all but all of the historic clothes in the archives. She would love to borrow some for her own closet to dress as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Daisy or Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet. 
“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens” 
― Jimi Hendrix

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