After coffee and conversation, President Ted Ganger called the general meeting of the Kirtlandia Society order at 10:00 a.m. in the Rare Book Room of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Turnout of approximately 45 members and guests was excellent. Because the group was going to the planetarium for an early presentation, the business portion of the meeting was delayed until afterwards.
Bob Taylor introduced Joe DeRocher, Planetarium Coordinator since 1996. Joe said the new planetarium has been very popular since opening in mid-January, and most all shows have been full houses. He gave a brief history of CMNH's astronomy/planetarium program beginning in the 1930's with the Hanna Star Dome, proceeded to the construction of the Ralph Mueller Planetarium in 1959, with various enhancements to the equipment over the years, and finally to the construction of our new Shafran Planetarium. The new facility has been in the works since the early 1990's.
The meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m. so the members could attend the wonderful presentation in the planetarium. The general meeting reconvened at 11:24 a.m. with President Ganger introducing guests and new members. Joe went on to thank Kirtlandia members for their support. He talked about its construction and about the exhibit space, which is twice the size of the old, and which will focus primarily on observation. Joe took questions from the group.
In Jane Litt's absence, Barb Coleman reported on the meeting of the Education Committee held Wednesday, February 6. They talked about a summer intern for the astronomy staff. This would be along a line different than the Adopt-A-Student program. Planetarium staff, however, has not had the time to develop a program/proposal for this, and therefore, no program will be implemented this year.
Walt Stephens and Bill MacDermott will go to the Science Fair at Cleveland State to judge in March. The student chosen will receive a year's family membership to the Museum, along with a gift certificate to the Ark in the Park. The Education Department is going ahead again this year with the Circle Sampler Camp with other local institutions. The renovation of the Discovery Center will begin soon. The former staff room will be converted to the Early Childhood Development Center. Barb reported that the Museum was jam packed with 7,878 people on Martin Luther King/Discovery Day. Over 2,000 attended a short program in the new planetarium.
Walt Stephens reported on the progress of the Adopt-A-Student program for the upcoming summer. Solicitation letters went out in early December, and as of February 6, we have received 48% of the $18,800 goal. Ann DuFresne stated she has 10 sincere applications and expects more will be received. All curators except one have submitted proposals. Walt and Ann said that their guidelines covering the AAS program would be presented to the Board for discussion at today's meeting.
Ted Ganger promoted the Kirtlandia web site, www.kirtlandiasociety.org, prepared by Bill MacDermott. It contains information on our society as well as our schedule of programs.
President Ganger adjourned the meeting at 11:55 a.m.