Emma Grahn is the Spark!Lab Manager for Draper Spark!Lab, the Lemelson Center’s hands-on invention space at the National Museum of American History (NMAH). Emma specializes in creating and implementing inquiry-based experiences for visitors of all ages. As a member of the Lemelson Center team, Emma oversees the Spark!Lab floor staff and volunteer corps that help facilitate personal, meaningful, and innovative experiences for children and families visiting the museum. She also participates in the development of other Lemelson Center programs advancing new perspectives on invention and innovation and fostering interactions between the public and inventors. Emma strives to spark conversation, build relationships with museum visitors, and empower all visitors to see themselves as inventors.
Before coming to NMAH, Emma earned her MA in Museum Studies from the George Washington University. She began her career at the museum working on the Object Project development team to create a visitor-centric learning space interpreting the history of everyday innovations. After Object Project opened to the public in 2015, Emma developed volunteer-run programs about “everyday things that changed everything” to enliven the exhibition. Most recently, Emma worked as Program Manager with the museum’s Experience Design team managing the museum’s History Alive! Theater Program, innovation programs, and the Daily Programs intern cohort.
When she isn’t tweaking activities in Spark!Lab, Emma experiments in the kitchen inventing new recipes for friends and family.