Niagara Gazette — Recently, he had an idea that if the people wouldn't come to him, he would go to the people.
He asked Niagara Falls School District Superintendent Cynthia Bianco if he could put items in the display cases at the district headquarters on 66th Street. She offered him one exhibit case. They finally agreed on seven.
For the past month, he's been getting ready for school to start, filling the cases with some of his most interesting artifacts and instruments, including a 400 million-year-old fossil, an antique vacuum pump and a vintage condenser, which was once used to store electricity.
"These are beautiful, wonderful things and they are absolutely necessary for developing proper scientific minds in kids," Dalacu said.
Bianco said Wednesday that inviting Dalacu into the building was easier than expecting teachers to take their classes to the museum, especially given the more stringent state education requirements facing her teachers this new school year.
"I told them this morning, I want you to feel the same sense of urgency I do," she said of her meeting with her teaching staff, who she hopes will hit the ground running and keep up the pace through to the last day of school next June. Bianco discussed the need to meet the state's new core requirements, adding that help from parents and community members, such as the science museum director, are much needed.
Dalacu said he was working late one night when he heard a voice say, "'are you still here?'"
Fidgeting with a display he responded, "Yes. Because I love what I do."
He turned and was surprised to find the superintendent was the one addressing him.
She delivered three words that Dalacu cannot seem to hear enough of: "We appreciate that."
Dalacu is grateful in return to be allowed to showcase his museum at the district office. He notes that the more he shows up at the building — carefully creating displays as one might arrange a bouquet of flowers — the nicer people are to him. He smiled as he described the responses he was getting from those who remark on the exhibits.
"They are showing their sympathy for what I am trying to do," he said.
For more information about the Niagara Science Museum, visit www.niagarasciencemuseum.org or call 282-2975.