The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Muskegon Community College’s John Bartley Science Museum is set for Tuesday, Oct. 10, beginning with a dedication at 4:30 p.m. in Gerber Lounge.
An Open House in the museum, located in Room 141, takes place from 4-7 p.m. and includes tours and demonstrations. Across the hallway in the Carr-Fles Planetarium, free shows will be offered at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Free and open to the public, the museum honors the legacy of former MCC instructor Dr. John Bartley and offers visitors a new and unique hands-on facility conveniently located directly across from MCC’s popular planetarium.
“We are very excited to expand our community outreach to include science exploration with free interactive exhibits,” said John Selmon, the MCC provost and executive vice president. “We also hope this will enhance and continue MCC’s commitment to our community.”
The museum engages children and adults alike in science education that’s fun and interesting. Visitors will be fascinated by the tactile scientific investigation stations, which continue Bartley’s legacy of and strong commitment to scientific outreach. The facility includes museum-quality displays of fossils, another of Bartley’s great passions in life. The late MCC instructor, who resided in Holland, MI, was a scientific researcher in the world of bryozoans, which are aquatic invertebrate animals sometimes called “moss animals.”
The museum houses several MCC student-created exhibits, including a phosphorescent shadow wall, an interactive color addition light exhibit, and a ramp where one can explore potential and kinetic energy.
“We are excited that our students will be able to give back to their community through designing exhibits,” said Kumpf, MCC instructor of geology and oceanography.
“I hope that the museum will inspire youth to pursue careers in STEM fields for many years to come,” added Moleski, MCC instructor of physics and physical science.
From 1989 to 2011, Bartley taught geology at MCC. Highly revered for his teaching style by his MCC geology and math students, he earned their affectionate nickname of “The Big Kahuna.” Bartley was equally beloved by MCC’s faculty and staff for his kind and gentle manner, for being a founding member of the “Human Potential Committee,” and for his omnipresent Hawaiian shirts lovingly made for him by his wife, Jackie.
An active faculty member, he served on many committees and for several years was the Math and Physical Sciences Department chair. Bartley’s love for science included the Science Olympiad. For many years, he volunteered as the president of the Michigan Science Olympiad. Just a few months shy of his retirement in 2011, John was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and succumbed to the disease shortly thereafter.
After the Oct. 10 opening, the museum’s regular hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. For docent-led tours, please contact the Math/Physical Sciences Department at (231) 777-0289. For more information about the John Bartley Science Museum, contact museum coordinators Amber Kumpf at firstname.lastname@example.org or Toby Moleski at email@example.com.