The Science Museum of Long Island (SMLI), located on the Leeds Pond Preserve in Plandome Manor, has seen many changes throughout its 50-year history, including the recent launch of its increasingly popular Minecraft and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) Clubs, installation of a state-of-the-art computer lab featuring two 3D printers, completion of phase one of sorely needed renovations to the physical plant and the introduction of a “science of art/art of science” curriculum to the museum’s numerous program offerings.
At the museum’s annual meeting, held on Sunday, Dec. 13, the Board of Trustees unanimously elected new leadership. After 11 years on the board, including a term as board president for seven years, Carlo Manganillo of Port Washington and Jupiter, Florida, passed the gavel to trustee Sean Martens of Garden City. Martens will serve as the new president of the Board of Trustees. Cara Sheridan O’Donnell of Manhasset was named the chief administrator of the museum.
“I will remain on the board as a member at large,” said Manganillo at the meeting, “but it is time for the implementation of the fresh ideas that Sean Martens and Cara O’Donnell, working together, can accomplish. They are committed to fostering a collegial atmosphere within the organization, enlisting increased local support and taking the museum to a new level of relevance.”
Using an innovative, interactive, hands-on approach to science education, teachers at the museum strive to ignite children’s innate curiosity about and interest in “all things science” into a lifelong love of learning in general and passion for science in particular. “I’m often reminded that the Science Museum’s methodology really works,” said O’Donnell at the luncheon following the meeting. “Several of my children’s childhood friends have come to the museum with their own children in tow. These young parents tell me that the time they spent as children at the museum was so positive and memorable that they want their own little ones to enjoy that same experience.”
“Making repairs and improvements to our 109-year-old buildings is a high priority for us,” Martens added, “and not just for today’s generation. We hope that many of our current visitors will one day walk through our doors with their children.”
The Science Museum of Long Island, a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization, offers many options for community involvement, ranging from volunteering time at the museum, adopting a room for renovation, donating the cost of one week of summer science camp for one or more underprivileged children, to underwriting an entire season of after-school programming at an inner-city school or youth center. Tax-deductible financial support from the community—in any amount—is always appreciated, but equally important to SMLI are contributions of time and talent.
Visit www.smli.org for more information. If you are interested in exploring exactly how you can assist SMLI in furthering its meaningful mission, contact Cara O’Donnell at 516-627-9400, ext. 11.