Stamford Museum & Nature Center Forms Science Advisory Council

Distinguished Members from Across Science Community Sign On to Support SM&NC’s Development of its New Astronomy & Physical Science Center

Distinguished Members from Across Science Community Sign On to Support SM&NC’s Development of its New Astronomy & Physical Science Center
The Stamford Museum & Nature Center recently held the first meeting of its new Science Advisory Council. Shown here, from L to R, are: Dr. Barrett Wells, Dr. Joel Adelberg, Chris Owens (consultant), Whit Iglehart of TSKP Studios (back row), Dr. Stephon Alexander, Melissa Mulrooney, Dr. Sarbani Basu, Michael Fedele and Dr. Marcel Agüeros. Missing from the photo are: Dr. Michael Alfano, Mary Pat Coburn, Dr. Toni Jones and Amy Beldotti.

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center (SM&NC) is proud to announce the formation of a Science Advisory Council, created to guide the design and development of its new Astronomy & Physical Science Center.

The Council’s diverse membership is comprised of distinguished educational leaders from across the region including*:

• Dr. Joel Adelberg, Superintendent, Bedford Central School District
• Dr. Marcel Agüeros, Associate Professor of Astronomy, Columbia University
• Dr. Stephon Alexander, Professor of Physics, Brown University & President, National Society of Black Physicists
• Dr. Michael Alfano, Dean, College of Education, Sacred Heart University
• Dr. Michele Baldini, VP, Head of Treasury Execution Trading Strategists, Goldman Sachs
• Dr. Sarbani Basu, Chair of the Department of Astronomy, Yale University
• Ms. Amy C. Beldotti, Associate Superintendent of Teaching & Learning, Stamford Public Schools
• John W. Briggs, Director, The Astronomical Lyceum, Magdalena, New Mexico
• Ira Flatow, Executive Producer & Host, Science Friday, Public Radio
• Bart Fried, Founder & President, Antique Telescope Society; Vice-President, Amateur Astronomers Association, New York
Dr. Toni Jones, Superintendent, Greenwich Public Schools
• Robert Morrow, Science Teacher, Convent of the Sacred Heart
• Dr. Barrett Wells, Department Head and Professor of Physics, UCONN
Ex officio members include Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Jim Himes.
*(List updated since publication to reflect Council growth)

“It is rewarding to have secured the commitment of such well-known and well-respected leaders in the educational and science communities. We believe that their expert counsel will have a tremendous impact on the development of our building, public programming, and science curriculum moving forward and enhance the reputation and visibility of the Astronomy & Physical Science Center,” said Melissa H. Mulrooney, Executive Director & CEO of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center.

At 8,000-square-feet, the Astronomy and Physical Science Center will combine and expand the SM&NC Observatory with a full planetarium and create a new signature venue on the property. The facility will feature three levels that include a first-floor, 100-seat Planetarium auditorium with state-of-the-art technology, a second-floor Science Lab classroom, and a third-level public outdoor viewing deck with steps leading into a 40-foot aluminum dome that will house a 22-inch research telescope for public viewing. It will also serve as a center for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and astronomy and math) education, supporting the Connecticut State standards and the new Generation Science Standards.

Both the new Astronomy & Physical Science Center, as well as the Knobloch Family Farmhouse that opened last fall, are part of the SM&NC’s visionary master plan to build future capacity for the museum’s educational and public spaces. In order to complete these projects, the SM&NC initiated a capital campaign, The Campaign for Future Generations. Combined, the Farmhouse and Astronomy and Physical Science Center amount to a $15 million investment and so far, the SM&NC has raised about $9.5M of the necessary funding.

“With the Grand Opening of the Farmhouse last November, we are focused on Phase II of our Campaign plan to raise the necessary funds to develop the Astronomy & Physical Science Center — a profound educational resource not just for the state of Connecticut, but for the entire region,” said Michael Fedele, Co-Chair, The Campaign for Future Generations. “We anticipate breaking ground in the fall of 2020, and look forward to having the input and support of this distinguished Science Advisory Council on the design and development of this exciting new facility.”

About the Stamford Museum & Nature Center
The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is located on a beautiful 118-acre campus in North Stamford and is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of art, natural and agricultural sciences and history. Open to the community since 1936, the SM&NC is a vital cultural and educational resource, as well as a focal point for family activity and interaction for children and adults in the city, state and region. The SM&NC seeks to inspire creativity, foster self-discovery, promote environmental stewardship and nurture appreciation for lifelong learning through exhibitions, educational programs and special events that enhance the visitor’s experience. For more information, please visit