MAPS History

The organization came into formal existence on Saturday, May 22, 1965, during a meeting of planetarium educators held in the Earth and Space Science Laboratory of Frederick County, Frederick, Maryland.

The original objectives of the society were described as follows:

  1. To give assistance to newly formed planetariums and newly appointed planetarium teachers. The assistance to be mainly in the form of curriculum materials developed by members of MAPS.
  2. To provide boards of education contemplating a planetarium with recommendations on planetarium construction.
  3. To have its members become acquainted with new curriculum material at all grade levels, developed by planetarium educators across the country.
  4. To become familiar with any new projects, projectors, and audio-visual aids developed by members of MAPS.

Fifteen educators, representing eight planetariums and including three science supervisors, were in attendance at the founding meeting. Higher educational institutions represented were the U.S. Naval Academy and Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

In the ensuing forty-six years, the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society has grown to over 200 members, representing some of the largest and best known public facilities in the country, as well as its original base of smaller educational institutions.

Distinguished Service Award Recipients

2015Patty Seaton
2010Sam Storch; Steven Mitch
2006Erik Zimmerman
2005Dick Peery
2001Lee Ann A. Hennig
1999Pete Connors; Tom Stec
1997Fred Stutz
1995Don Hall; George Lovi (posthumously)
1993George Reed
1992Gerald Mallon
1991George Hamilton
1987Everett Carr; Claire Carr
1986Ellie Milliken
1984Jack Spoehr
1981Alan Friedman
1980Jeanne Bishop
1979George Pitluga
1978Dr. Mark Littmann; Hansen Planetarium Staff