The intent of the Growing Wise – Through Science and Music is to provide an opportunity to make a deeper connection to science, music, themselves and the community by engaging with professionals who can integrate the knowledge at an intrinsic level and experience creating and presenting a collaborative project to educate and inspire the public. In the course of the project it is hoped the students not only learn new material and skills such as composition, teamwork, and writing but will learn something about themselves and connect to their community in a dynamic way engendering further action and personal development.


Megan Benage covers 32 counties as a regional ecologist for the Minnesota DNR. She is passionate about building and conserving habitats by problem solving as a community. She is also a talented writer in her own right having written a short play “Stephen and the Bee” which was performed last summer as part of Growing Wise project.

Anita Prestidge is a writer, performer, and board member at State Street Theater, but her other obsession is facilitating youth centered educational opportunities especially for the marginalized, tailoring education to the individual. Formerly a home educator and volunteer for NUMAS Haus, Anita is now a Paraprofessional at Riverbend Educational District in the R.I.S.E. program. She has extensive experience through the Girl Scouts with leading diverse groups of children ages 6-18.

Peter Michael von der Nahmer is a composer, sound researcher, and lecturer based in New York. He has written over 27 works for music theater and dance and over 100 works for concert and film which have received many international and national awards and have been performed around the world. Since 2000 he has taught classes for high schools, universities, and private organizations like BMW in sound research, music psychology, music therapy, orchestration/arrangement, and musical theater writing. Composer von der Nahmer has spent years developing his MuTaDra technique, mentoring emerging composers and writers and in the last eight years overseen the creation of over 30 original musical theater pieces.