Dear Friend,

In February 2017, Dr. Bob Engler and his wife, Julie Ruedi, came to the Fleet Science Center when they read an article in the paper about our exhibition "The Art of the Brick" and were intrigued. They had always been interested in LEGO bricks; their kids played with LEGO bricks for years and they have visited LEGOLAND in Denmark. Other than a curiosity about what the large sculptures looked like, they had no preconceived notions about what they would see.

Bob Engler, MD, and Julie Ruedi

"We were amazed at the creativity and artistic expression in the sculptures," Bob said. He explained that the sculptures at LEGOLAND were realistic, accurate representations of buildings and the like. The Art of the Brick sculptures were much more than that. "They expressed a feeling or concept and some triggered an artistic transaction with us." There was a beauty to the way each one was put together, expressing movement, a feeling, or a concept the artist experienced."
When Bob and Julie came to the surfer sculpture pictured above, they thought "Oh my gosh, that is so classic for San Diego. Surfing is part of the culture of San Diego. It's the perfect fit - the Fleet Science Center, building complex things out of simple blocks, surfing and teaching kids about science - plus it's artistic."
As Bob and Julie were talking about their impressions, Fleet staff member Ryan Dodson mentioned that the surfer, entitled "Wave of Illumination," was specifically commissioned for San Diego. Ryan also shared that the Fleet was looking for a donor who was interested in keeping the sculpture in San Diego. Bob and Julie wanted to learn more and so began their conversations with the Fleet about purchasing the sculpture.
They returned to the Fleet with their son, Matthew, and granddaughter, Ellinora. This would be a family decision. They viewed the sculpture again, saw the proposed spot for display and asked some questions. When all was said and done, and much to our delight, Bob and Julie purchased the surfer and agreed to a long-term loan to display it at the Fleet. Not only have Bob and Julie provided a wonderful gift to the San Diego community, they have set an example for their family on the importance of giving back.
Bob and Julie don't consider themselves art collectors. This is the first time they have purchased a piece with the intent to display it at a museum. They hope visitors will be inspired by what can be done with LEGO bricks - using imagination in construction and incorporating local themes. Bob said, "Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings to fit in with the environment. This sculpture fits in with the environment of San Diego."
When asked how the sculpture can connect people to science in the community, Bob explained that this sculpture, which takes a simple building tool to create a work of art, demonstrates how engineering principles can be applied to create something beautiful. Ultimately, it exposes children to STEM in a way that is fun and relatable.
Inspiration can strike at any moment and when it does you'll want to share it with as many people as possible. Bob and Julie have done just that. What a fantastic gift for San Diego.
Come on by to see 'Wave of Illumination'.
Surf's up. 
Warm regards,

Steve Snyder, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. For more information on how you
can support the Fleet's efforts, contact
Matthew Kirl at:

Uncorking the Mysteries of Wine
Tickets are still available!
If you love wine, don't miss this evening of fine wine paired with a delicious dinner designed by Andrew Spurgin. Wines curated by Gary Parker of The WineSellar & Brasserie. Guests will enjoy a silent auction of exquisite wines and fabulous experiences. This fundraising event directly supports the Fleet's mission of creating a San Diego where people of all ages can be inspired by the power and possibilities of science.


Corporate and Foundation Giving

The Fleet Science Center is pleased to recognize the following partners  for their generous support: 
-Association of Science-Technology Centers
-Kinder Morgan Foundation
-Patrons of the Prado
-ResMed Foundation
-Union Bank Foundation


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Fleet Science Center | (619) 238-1233 |