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Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch to Retire Following an Outstanding 30 Years of Service as Executive Director of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, in June 2013

Following an Extensive Nationwide Search, We Are Pleased to Announce The Fleet's New Executive Director: Steven Snyder, Ph.D.

March 19, 2013

New Fleet Executive Director Dr. Steven Snyder

New Fleet Executive Director Dr. Steven Snyder
Retiring Fleet Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch

Retiring Fleet Executive Director Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center 40th Anniversary logo

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center 40th Anniversary logo


San Diego, CA—March 14, 2013—Dr. Jeffrey Kirsch will retire from his highly successful tenure as Executive Director of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center on June 30, 2013. Kirsch, former chair of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA), is recognized as a pioneer and major contributor to the production and exhibition of IMAX® films in science museums, and he has changed the face of science education in San Diego.


Dr. Kirsch joined the Fleet as Executive Director in January 1983. Under his leadership, the institution has quintupled its membership, doubled its physical size and become a major contributor to science education and science literacy for the region. Home to the world’s first IMAX Dome Theater, the Fleet gained international prominence under Dr. Kirsch’s guidance with the recent installation of a new giant dome screen and digital GSX™ system in the theater––also making it the first in the US to share a digital planetarium with an IMAX Dome Theater. Dr. Kirsch will continue to be a contributing force in the Giant Screen Cinema and IMAX universes and is looking forward to his next project, serving as consulting producer on a film about the Panama Canal, now in the planning stages but aimed to debut as part of the Balboa Park 2015 Centennial.


Following an extensive nationwide search, we are pleased to announce the Fleet's new executive director: Dr. Steven Snyder. Dr. Snyder is currently Vice President, Exhibit and Program Development at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA. Most recently, Dr. Snyder has been responsible for strategic planning at The Franklin Institute, driving the development of a new strategic plan leveraging the organization’s unique assets and position to redefine its relationship with its visitors, supporters and community. He also redefined expectations at this mature institution in order to create a more innovative and forward-looking staff, resulting in stabilization of earned revenue program performance and internal institutional capacity. As part of a recent major renovation, he redefined more than 80,000 square feet of existing exhibitry, theaters and public programs, and improved educational impact, average yearly visitation and financial stability. In the late 90’s at The Kansas City Museum/Science City, he opened a 65,000-square-foot science center amidst the restoration of the second-largest train station in the United States while maintaining programming and operations of that regional history museum.


Full bios of both gentlemen are available on the press page as well.



Celebrate the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s 40th Anniversary Year With Us!

Forty years ago, a spark ignited our imaginations! March 9, 2013, kicked off a year-long celebration of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and its 40 years of success in bringing hands-on science to our San Diego community. In 1973, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center opened its doors and brought interactive exhibits and the world’s first IMAX® Dome Theater to San Diego. Today, the Fleet inspires minds and connects individuals to science and technology through more than 100 “do touch” exhibits for all ages and amazing IMAX films and planetarium shows in the recently renovated Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. Enjoy our year-long celebration, featuring a blockbuster exhibition, incredible events and dynamic educational experiences.

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About the Fleet Science Center:

The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet--and beyond--in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet offers science workshops both at the Fleet and at schools throughout San Diego County. For adults, we offer events like Suds & Science and Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar™ at locations all over San Diego. We support communities by leveraging science resources to meet local needs. Teachers are encouraged to join our Teacher Partner Program and take advantage of our professional development opportunities. Additionally, at the Fleet Science Center, visitors will find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store, and pizzas, sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in our Craveology cafe. Located in Balboa Park, at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet is San Diego's science center. Science starts here and opens a world of possibility. For information regarding current admission prices, visit our website at fleetscience.org.
About Balboa Park:
Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urbancultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit balboapark.org.