About Us

About the Sciencenter

The Sciencenter, a non-profit hands-on science museum in Ithaca, New York, grew out of a volunteer-run science program at a local elementary school. Founded in 1983, the Sciencenter operated from storefronts for nearly a decade. In 1993, the museum opened the first phase of its permanent home. Phase II opened in 1996 and provided additional program space. Phase III, which opened in 2003, expanded the Sciencenter to 32,000 sq. ft. During the decade from 1992-2002, 3,400 volunteers donated 50,000 hours of time to construct the Sciencenter. In 2010, the Sciencenter acquired an additional 8,000 sq. ft. building to support its growing traveling exhibition program.

Today, the Sciencenter is a nationally recognized museum, hosting 100,000 guests in Ithaca each year and reaching over 1.5 million guests worldwide through our traveling exhibitions and outreach programs.

The Sciencenter is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and Association of Children’s Museums (ACM).

Sciencenter mission: Cultivate a broad community of curious, confident, critical thinkers.
Sciencenter vision: A world where people explore, connect, and create through science.

Download our complete history overview

Download our 2019-2023 Strategic Framework

The Sciencenter staff is available to help make your visit a pleasant experience and we look forward to speaking with you.

Senior Leadership

Name/Email Title Ext.
Michelle Kortenaar
Michelle Kortenaar Executive Director (Bio) x124
Chris Fagan
Chris Fagan CFO and VP of Administration x130
Ali Jackson
Ali Jackson Interim VP of Education & Director of Partnerships x144
Adrienne Testa
Adrienne Testa Vice President of Museum Experiences x135

Sciencenter Staff

Name/Email Title Ext.
Cass Barbour
Cass Barbour Project Manager x155
Kelly Barclay
Kelly Barclay Public and Media Relations Manager x114
Emily Belle
Emily Belle Animal Keeper None
Patricia Flery
Patricia Flery Museum Greeter x121
Lucas Fredericks
Lucas Fredericks Exhibit Fabricator x146
Annie Gordon
Annie Gordon Education Program Coordinator x123
Matthew Griffin
Matthew Griffin Museum Greeter; Animal Keeper x121
Kodi Hopkins
Kodi Hopkins Museum Greeter x121
Kathy Krafft
Kathy Krafft Exhibit Fabricator x125
Peter Leipzig
Peter Leipzig Education Program Coordinator x145
Elizabeth McDonald
Elizabeth McDonald Education Program Coordinator x148
Colin Meeks
Colin Meeks Manager of Live Collections x132
Mike Napierski
Mike Napierski Facilities Manager x142
Ryan Opila
Ryan Opila Grants and Administrative Coordinator x111
Julian Pompilio
Julian Pompilio Exhibit Fabricator x143
Sharon Smallwood
Sharon Smallwood Traveling Exhibitions Manager x128
Alli Sribarra
Alli Sribarra Director of Development x133
Cori Thompson
Cori Thompson Manager of Guest Relations x116
Lillian Tomik
Lillian Tomik Advancement Coordinator x118
Lyla White
Lyla White Educator x147

Sciencenter Board of Trustees

  • Laurie Robinson, Chair
  • Shawn Wilczynski, Vice Chair
  • Sunshine Miller, Secretary
  • Jason Sanford, Treasurer
  • Melinda Oakes, Past Chair
  • John Birmingham
  • Michael Britt
  • Denise Gomber
  • George Gull
  • Seth Hiland
  • Andrea Ippolito
  • Richard Kiely
  • Costa Lambrou
  • Heather McDaniel
  • Eric Rosario
  • Mickie Sanders-Jauquet
  • Eric Toftegaard
  • Qi Zhang
Board 2019 1

Sciencenter Advisory Board

John Alexander, Warren Allmon, William Bassett, Brian Bauer, Walt Cottrell, Sarah Davidson Evanega, Ann Druyan, Jennifer Engel, Gary Ferguson, David Fernandez, Russell Givens, Michael Goldstein, Mary Grainger, Janet Hawkes, Lindsey Hayes, Kim Holloway, Carolyn Horner, Laurie Johnston, Denise Lee, Deborah Levin, Ilma Levine, Bruce Lewenstein, Robert McGuire, Susan Mittler, Lorraine Moynihan Schmitt, Svante Myrick, John Neuman, Michael Nolan, William Nye, Thomas O’Rourke, Mason Peck, Nancy Potter, Richard Prybyl, Martha Robertson, Franklin Robinson, Tacie Saltonstall, Helene Schember, Lynette Scofield, Arthur Shull, Blixy Taetzsch, Jennifer Tavares, Bruce Thompson, Marguerite Uphoff, Thomas VanDerzee, Charles Walcott, Sean Whittaker, Amy Yale-Loehr, Gene Yarussi

Get Involved Press Resources

Find us

Sciencenter 601 1st Street Ithaca, NY 14850
Google map directions

Contact us

Museum & Store Hours

  • Wednesday - Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm*
  • Sunday, 12 pm - 4 pm
  • *Open holiday Mondays, 10 am - 4 pm

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