Tonya Matthews, CEO of the Michigan Science Center, is leaving her post effective immediately.

The Maryland native, who holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering, has been at the Detroit museum 4 ½ years. 

A short release from the Center said her move was "effective immediately," and that she intends to pursue other opportunities in the STEM fields. 

Until a successor is found, the museum's chief operating officer, John Anderson, will step in as interim CEO. 

In a 2016 interview with The Detroit News, Matthews said she saw the Center as an extension of classroom learning — just more fun than school usually is. 

"Science centers create the spark so kids can get through the course," she said. "We are not a replacement for the classroom; we are the best partner ever."

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