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 thirteen years and in the museum field for the past twelve 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 Lancaster community knows Mike as “Cosmic Mike” through his biweekly astronomy columns that appear in Lancaster's Intelligencer/New Era Saturday newspaper. In the past Mike had also provided monthly astronomy updates via email with over 1,200 subscribers which ran from 2007 through 2010. Now he maintains a Facebook page providing the latest on celestial events. In September ’08, Mike created an astronomy club, Cosmic Mike’s® North Stars, for our young astronomy enthusiasts, ages 8-12, which was placed on hold in 2011.
Cosmic Mike was recently involved in a National Science Foundation grant called STEPS (Science Theater Education Programming System). STEPS was a collaboration of eight different museums and the Space Science Institute. The three-year grant has provided an interactive museum theater product that combines 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 made its debut at the North Museum at the start of 2011.
His enthusiasm for astronomy goes beyond the walls of the museum. Mike was the president for the Astronomy Enthusiasts of Lancaster County (AELC), a local astronomy club, from January 2006 through May 2011. He is also involved in his regional planetarium society, Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS), by serving on their Board and currently acting as their Proceedings Editor. Mike is also a member of the 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.