ENRICHMENT LECTURE STAFF
Dr. Paul H. Knappenberger Jr.
Eclipse '99 - Black Sea Voyage to Darkness aboard Royal Olympic's Stella Solaris
Paul H. Knappenberger Jr. President of Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, has successfully combined astronomy, education and museum administration into a career focused on interpreting the exploration of the universe to the broadest possible audience.
Dr. Knappenberger's first official task as President of the Alder Planetarium was to serve as an educational guide on a Gulf of Mexico cruise to see the legendary total solar eclipse of July 11, 1991. He also led the Alder members on a solar eclipse to Brazil in November 1994, on archaeoastronomy expeditions in the southwestern U.S. and on an Italy trip retracing the travels of Galileo.
Before coming to the Adler in July 1991, he served as Director of the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond since its founding in 1973. Over the past quarter-century he has led efforts to develop interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations on astronomy and educational activities for elementary and secondary schools.
A doctoral graduate of the University of Virginia, he started his museum career as the Administrative Coordinator of Physical Sciences and Observatory Director at Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta.
Currently he is participating in nationwide efforts to reform math and science education, both formal (classroom) and informal. He is an active member of the International Planetarium Society and regional planetarium associations, and was a reviewer on the National Science Foundation's Panel for the Public Understanding of Science.
Dr. Knappenberger helped found the Association of Science-Technology Centers and has served as president of ASTC. He has also served on the Council of the American Association of Museums, and chaired the Task Group for Education of the American Astronomical Society.
He has taught astronomy at Emory University, Georgia State University, University of Richmond, University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University. His research efforts include work in ptical interferometry at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Knappenberger has also published numerous papers focussing on museum planning processes, formative evaluation in development of museum experiences, and the educational value of science centers.
One of his most recent efforts to bring astronomy education to the broadest possible audience involves "virtual" museum experiences via new computer technologies.
Dr. Knappenberger also spearheaded efforts to open a 20-unit computer learning center at the Adler, geared to teach classroom instructors in educational opportunities made available by the Internet. Among other programs, teachers are able to electronically link their classrooms with observatories, allowing telescope viewing opportunities never before possible.
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