I am honored to have been selected as the incoming Executive Director of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, following in the footsteps of Jeffrey Kirsch. On behalf of everyone here at the Fleet, I would like to thank Jeff for his 30+ years at the helm. In looking back at all he has accomplished, I realize I have some very big shoes to fill.
My family and I are joining the Fleet from Philadelphia, where I served at The Franklin Institute overseeing exhibits, educational programming and theaters. This will be our first time living on the West Coast, and we are looking forward to trading in our cheesesteaks for fish tacos and snow for sunshine. More importantly, I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with all of you, along with the staff, the board and our supporters, to expand the impact of the Fleet Science Center on our community.
Biography for Steve Snyder
Steven Snyder, Ph.D., comes to the Fleet from The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where he served as Vice President of Exhibit and Program Development. There he was responsible for redefining the direction and processes for the development and implementation of all exhibit, theater and public programs for a 180+ year old institution and in so doing transforming the existing museum into a more dynamic, relevant, educational experience. As a member of senior leadership, he helped to shape the strategic direction and chart a new course for the organization. Dr. Snyder conceived of and led the development of a new educational direction for the organization that will drive the future direction of conceptualization and implementation of all exhibit, program and theatrical offerings. He managed an extensive staff, including designers, developers, interpreters, evaluators and scientists, while directing over $5M in annual operations and $2M in annual capital projects. Dr. Snyder developed new experiences and products to increase attendance and revenue while maintaining the integrity of the organization’s educational mission, including over 80,000 square feet of new exhibitions and programs, and served as a key public spokesperson for the organization.
At Science City/The Kansas City Museum in Kansas City, MO, Dr. Snyder served as Director of Science, then Director of Attraction Development, and played a key role in helping a small regional history museum expand to encompass a new science center located in a restored 850,000-square-foot train station, an existing regional historic site. Through careful management, he changed staff perceptions about roles and possibilities for the organization, its reach and mission. He led the development of all exhibits, programs and theatrical offerings, and managed a highly diverse team with backgrounds in education, science, history, collections, entertainment/theater and graphic design. While overseeing the development and management of budgets and strategic planning, he also developed new techniques to attract new (and retain old) audiences and developed relations (professional, sponsorship and donor) with community and business leaders.
Dr. Snyder was a 2010 Noyce Leadership Fellow and, as the Director of the Science Theater Outreach project, led the group to receive the 1993 AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology. He has served on the Program Advisory Board, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, ASTC Program Planning Committee and the President’s House Task Force. He is asked to speak regularly at national and international conferences and workshops and has published the results of both scientific and educational work. Recent publications include “Augmented reality for interpretive and experiential learning” (S.L. Snyder and K. Elinich), Proceedings from EVA 2010: Electronic Visualization and the Arts, London, England, 2010. As the Principle Investigator for several federally grant-funded projects, he developed projects that developed augmented reality software for interactive exhibition (ARIEL, NSF), developed neuroscience curriculum for K–12 students (Neuroscience in Your World, NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience), created community-based urban astronomy programs (City Skies: Linking Neighborhoods through Urban Astronomy, NASA CPSMP) and engaged urban audiences in climate change mitigation and adaptation (Climate and Urban Systems Partnership, CCEP Phase II) among others.
Dr. Snyder graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and took his Ph.D. in Physics in 1996 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.