Science Discovery Center of Oneonta
|Location||108 Ravine Parkway
Physical Sciences Building
Oneonta, New York, United States
The Science Discovery Center of Oneonta is a hands-on science museum that is a part of SUNY Oneonta in Oneonta, New York. The museum features more than eighty simple science experiments, focusing mainly on physics, for children as well as for adults. In addition to regular visitor hours, the Center hosts school and other groups. It also sponsors special events in science education, such as Nano Days and provides family-friendly activities for major events such as Homecoming Weekend and the Otsego County Fair.
The museum was the result of the hard work and dedication of Albert Read, a physics professor at SUNY Oneonta from 1957–1985. After his retirement, he planned and designed the Center and housed it in a room formerly used for batting practice. The official dedication took place on January 21, 1990. From its opening in 1990, to the time of Read's retirement as director in 2005, the museum doubled the number of exhibits and served an estimated 7,000 visitors per year. The Center is part of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and some of the exhibits developed by Read were included in the ASTC "Cheapbook" exhibit guide series.
Following Read's retirement, Dr. Hugh Gallagher served as director. In 2006, the Center received a $100,000 state grant to expand its outreach to local elementary and secondary teachers, provide additional education resources for teachers and students, and improve the facility. "I'm thrilled that the College will have this tremendous opportunity to enhance such a valuable community resource," said Dr. Gallagher. "The unique collection of hands-on science exhibits offers people of all ages a way to touch and feel the physical sciences." The grant was used to re-decorate the center, develop new exhibits, and enhancing the interactivity of other exhibits.
The work of the Center was described in a faculty research presentation "Science Discovery Center: A Resource for Curricular Enhancement for Many Disciplines" by Hugh Gallagher (Physics & Astronomy), Carolyn Chryst (Elementary Education & Reading), Jenny Flynn (SUNY Oneonta Headstart), Paul French (Physics &Astronomy), Kelly Gallagher (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Larry Guzy(Psychology), Crystal Hamm (SUNY Oneonta Headstart), Sunil Labroo, Carolyn McCruden, Albert Read (Physics & Astronomy), David Tagg (Music). Paul French served as director until September 2015.
In 2015, the Center celebrated its 25th anniversary, and was renamed the "A. J. Read Science Discovery Center" in honor of the contributions of its founding director. At that time, the Center had been temporarily moved from the Physical Science Building to the 3rd floor of Bugbee Hall.
In 2017, the Center moved into a new space following the renovation of the Physical Sciences building.
In September 2016, Douglas Reilly was named Outreach Coordinator to work with the A. J. Read Science Discovery Center and support the SUNY-Oneonta Planetarium.
- "Science Center Host Nanotechnology Events". SUNY Oneonta News & Events. 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2015-03-23.
- "2014 Homecoming Weekend Begins Friday, Oct. 24 | SUNY Oneonta". suny.oneonta.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
- Mark Simonson (2007-07-23). "Reads Gave Back to Community". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
- Justin Alston (2005-11-04). "Retired Director Says He'll Still Help Out". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
- A. J. Read pers. communic., Cheapbook 1 by Paul Orselli, currently out-of-print
- Mayer, Glenn. "College at Oneonta News". www.oneonta.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
- "SUNY Oneonta" (PDF). www.oneonta.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-23.
- Jessica Reynolds (2015-03-26). "SUCO Renames Science Center For Researcher". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2015-03-26.
- Jim Kevlin. "SUNY Renaming Science Center To Honor of Professor Al Read". Retrieved 12 February 2017.
- Jessica Reynolds. "SUNY Oneonta shows off revamped science center". Retrieved 12 February 2017.