About Cosmic Mike®
Senior Astronomy Educator, North Museum Planetarium
North Museum of Natural History and Science
Mike Smith (a.k.a. Cosmic Mike) is the Senior Astronomy Educator at the North Museum of Natural History and Science. He manages the planetarium while continuing the North Museum’s tradition of being a resource to the community for astronomy. Mike earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Astronomy and Physics from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
He has taught children and adults of all ages in planetariums for the past eleven years and in the museum field for the past ten years. Prior to arriving at the North Museum of Natural History and Science and returning to his home state of Pennsylvania in 2005, Mike worked for the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, Evansville, Indiana.
The community knows Mike as “Cosmic Mike” through his monthly astronomy updates via email with over 1,100 subscribers and biweekly astronomy columns that appear in Lancaster's Intelligencer/New Era Saturday newspaper. In September ’08, Mike created an astronomy club, Cosmic Mike’s North Stars, for our young astronomy enthusiasts, ages 8-12.
Mike is currently involved in a National Science Foundation grant called STEPS (Science Theater Education Programming System). STEPS is a collaboration of eight different museums and the Space Science Institute. The three-year grant will provide an interactive museum theater product that will combine high-end science visualization and presentation technology for innovative communication of science to the public. The project includes a set of theatrical presentations on astrobiology which will be prototyped at the Museum during the summer of 2010.
Mike’s enthusiasm for astronomy goes beyond the walls of the museum. Mike is currently the president of the Astronomy Enthusiasts of Lancaster County, a local astronomy club. He is also involved in his regional planetarium society, Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS), by serving on their Board and as thier Proceedings Editor. Mike is also a member of the Philadelphia Area Planetarium Assiociation (PAPA), Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA), the International Planetarium Society (IPS), and the Astronomical League.
Mike is a dedicated and experienced professional with a passion for sharing astronomy throughout the community.