Director of the Blakemore Planetarium at Museum of the Southwest

Job Description

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Planetarium Director develops, directs and presents educational programming at the Marian West and William Blanton Blakemore Planetarium on the campus of the Museum of the Southwest. The Blakemore Planetarium presents star talks and dome shows on a 360-degree state-of-the-art Digistar 5 system with 3D capabilities in the Helen Greathouse Educational Discovery Dome, and beginning in spring of 2019 will present programming on the CIMAREX Science on a Sphere, a room-sized interactive system developed by NOAA that uses the internet, computers and video projectors to display planetary and astronomical data on a large animated globe. A variety of educational programs are also held in the Frances & Jack Brown Science Center classroom throughout the year. The Blakemore Planetarium’s programming supports local K-12 curriculum and serves as an educational facility for students, school groups and the community. The start date for this position is negotiable, and a late spring or summer of 2019 start date is preferred.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
• Oversees the operation of the Blakemore Planetarium and its programming:
o Plans, creates, schedules and presents star talks, dome shows, CIMAREX Science on a Sphere programming, and other courses and special events for schools, community groups and the public;
o Collaborates with the Education Director to develop cross-curricular programming and activities for guests, students, and educators of all ages;
o Collaborates with the Education Director to develop and present professional development for educators, using Museum and Planetarium resources;
o Works with teachers and other educational groups to integrate planetarium equipment capabilities with curricula related to astronomy, physics, natural sciences and other subjects;
o Coordinates and engages in outreach to and collaborations with schools and other nonprofits;
o Researches, writes, produces and updates programming to offer continuous new visual, interactive and lecture content for guests of all ages; and
o Engages with guests whenever possible.
• Oversees maintenance and operations of planetarium facility and equipment:
o Participates in the design, selection, installation and maintenance of planetarium equipment as necessary;
o Contacts outside vendors as needed for repairs; and
o Maintains documentation and files on equipment.
• Prepares and monitors departmental budget for operations and programming in the Blakemore Planetarium;
• Works with the Director of Community Engagement on fundraising and grant opportunities for the Blakemore Planetarium;
• Works with the Marketing Manager on press releases and website and social media content related to the scientific fields covered by the Blakemore Planetarium;
• Supervises support staff, volunteers and interns;
• Participates in some evening and weekend events and programming; and
• Performs other duties as assigned in support of the overall objective of the position and the Museum in general.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
• Familiarity with theories and concepts in astronomy or related scientific disciplines sufficient to teach in a K-12 educational system;
• Desire and ability to learn to operate planetarium equipment (training will be provided) and other technology used for education and interactive presentations, including projectors and 3D printers;
• English language skills necessary to write clear, succinct, step-by-step instructions and explanations, and deliver presentations and programs;
• Well-developed communication and interpersonal skills for delivering inspiring group presentations, in-service education to groups and individuals and to explain technical concepts to non-technical staff;
• Experience and ability in organizing and delivering compelling presentations regarding astronomy and other scientific topics;
• Ability to assess educational program effectiveness;
• A genuine enthusiasm for science and intellectual exploration, and the ability to share that enthusiasm and inspire a love for science and learning in individuals and/or groups of diverse backgrounds and age groups; and
• A willingness to explore how science can be incorporated across a variety of subject areas and can be made accessible and meaningful to guests ages pre-K through adult.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION
• Bachelor's degree in education with an endorsement in a scientific field, or a bachelor’s degree in astronomy, physics, or another scientific discipline along with K-12 teaching experience, required;
• Successful completion of Educator Preparation Program preferred;
• Middle or high school teaching experience or equivalent strongly preferred; and
• Successful completion of a background check required.

How To Apply

Please apply via indeed.com or send a resume and cover letter to execdirector@museumsw.org with “MSW Planetarium Director Position” as the subject line.

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