Steven Snyder, Ph.D.
Dr. Steven Snyder is the CEO for the Fleet Science Center in San Diego, CA. Since taking on the role in 2013, he has brought ambitious science experiences to San Diego, like “ILLUSION,” which made its North American premiere at the Fleet, and “Taping Shape,” which opened in January 2016. He expanded the Fleet Inquiry Institute to teach the inquiry method of science learning to more than 1,000 local educators a year. Most significantly, Snyder redefined the Fleet’s role, taking it from a science center in Balboa Park to a community organization dedicated to helping all San Diegans achieve their place in our shared scientific future. To that end, he brought science into the community with unexpected programs like Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar, which brings 50 scientists to 25 bars all over San Diego County every quarter. And he launched 52 Weeks of Science, which leverages the wealth of local science and technology resources to bring science events directly to neighborhoods. He is a member of the ASTC Finance Committee, a trustee of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and a Steering Committee Member for the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. He is also a science advisor for the giant screen film Secrets of the Universe.
At The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Snyder served as Vice President of Exhibit and Program Development. He was responsible for redefining the direction and processes for the development and implementation of all exhibit, theater and public programs for the 180+ year old institution. 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 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. He 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. He led the development of all exhibits, programs and theatrical offerings and oversaw the development and management of budgets and strategic planning.
Dr. Snyder was a 2010 Noyce Leadership Fellow. 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. 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 created augmented reality software for interactive exhibition (ARIEL, NSF), neuroscience curriculum for K–12 students (Neuroscience in Your World, NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience) and 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. As the Director of the Science Theater Outreach project, he led the group to receive the 1993 AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology.
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.