Non-Profit STEM Center Engages in Educational Exploration with Help from Cognito Forms

Haley N. By Haley N. | October 13, 2021

Imagination is the core stimulation for creativity and innovation. One could argue that it is the catalyst to many magnificent transformations throughout history, especially in the scientific field.

At Imagination Station, they set out on a mission to deliver science and education in a creatively interactive setting. And, since opening their doors in 2009, they now serve as a vital STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) educational partner to the community.

Imagination with innovation

The science center is equipped with hundreds of interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and activities that teach vital science concepts. To compliment this, they also teach programs and initiatives to enhance learning and educational enrichment.


To support their initiatives, Imagination Station uses Cognito Forms to help automate event registration, memberships, giveaways, and the list continues to grow.

With more than 5,000 memberships at various levels and counting, Imagination Station continues to expand their audience of future and current STEM stars.

John Hambro, the Director of Technology at Imagination Station, manages internal operations and supports the infrastructure of the organization.

They’ve even recently opened a $12 million theatre that can project video in nearly any format – including large-screen format films, traditional and 3D films, television, presentations and video games.

“Technology is involved in every aspect of our business,” says Hambro. “From the software programs we use, to the exhibits, and now the new theater.”

After coming across some complexity challenges with the process he was using before Cognito Forms, Hambro says that implementing the platform has been a “robust solution” where he doesn’t have to worry about custom programming.

“It gives me the flexibility I need to help manage our data, in an easy-to-use format, with the benefit of a pay option and security,” says Hambro.

Event planning with help from Cognito Forms

With advancements and adjustments due to the pandemic, Hambro has come across many ways to use Cognito Forms to help increase the internal sufficiency of Imagination Station. One of them including the registration of the events they host throughout the year.

In the past five years, Imagination Station has hosted an abundance of workshops, events, and science camps. This includes free and paid events, online and in-person.

For example, in March of 2021, they hosted an event named Girl Power! that empowered females in STEM to reach their full potential in professional careers.


The event included keynote speakers, interactive discussions with STEM professionals in various careers, and offered kits to send home to provide real science in action.

Because of the complexity of the event, Hambro relied on Cognito Forms to help organize the data.

Details such as participant information, member and non-member pricing, and quantities of the send-home kits were just a few aspects of the registration form.

Hambro designed his registration forms to not only gather participant information, but intelligently collect both member and non-member pricing and calculate the necessary quantities of send-home kits. He also uses the PayPal integration to collect payment immediately at registration, streamlining event management.

“We’ve been with Cognito Forms for five years,” Hambro says. “Our organization has continued to evolve and grow and so have our needs. Also, the new features enable us to create more complex forms and gather analytics to help better understand and connect with our members and non-members.”

We’ve been with Cognito Forms for five years. Our organization has continued to evolve and grow and so have our needs. Also, the new features enable us to create more complex forms and gather analytics to help better understand and connect with our members and non-members.

John Hambro, Imagination Station

As Hambro continues to explore the features possible with Cognito Forms, he’s finding continued success and keeping members and non-members engaged at all levels.

More about Imagination Station


Located in downtown Toledo, OH, Imagination Station is the region’s resource in interactive Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

The science center is a hub of learning that provides the tools necessary to thrive in the 21st century and that shapes future scientists and innovators. They represent the idea that the sciences are more than theorems or formulas on a page, but are powerful concepts that can allow a wide-eyed child to ride a bike across a high wire and teach a family about where they get their energy.

Learn more about their programs and initiatives here.

Haley N.

Haley N.

Haley, the Content Specialist for Cognito Forms, helps customers discover how they can use the product to elevate their business. She knows that when it comes to getting things done, Cognito Forms is the perfect tool. When not at work, you can find her hiking, listening to podcasts, or buying plants.