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RMSC Announces New Director of Planetarium, James Bader


James Bader

The Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) is pleased to announce the appointment of James Bader as the new Director of the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium. With an impressive background in astronomy, education, and STEM outreach, Bader brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for the cosmos to our institution. Bader will be succeeding esteemed Planetarium Director, Steve Fentress, who is set to retire in November after a 35-year career.


Bader, an experienced astronomer and educator, holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of North Texas (UNT). His extensive experience includes Planetarium Manager at UNT and a School Programs Educator at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. In his role as Planetarium Director, Bader will lead initiatives to enhance RMSC astronomy programs, develop innovative educational content, and engage diverse audiences of all ages with mesmerizing, memory-making experiences.


“We are delighted to welcome James Bader to the RMSC as the new Planetarium Director,” said Hillary Olson, President & CEO of the RMSC. “His expertise and passion for astronomy will elevate our Planetarium programs, offering our visitors an enriching and captivating cosmic journey. We look forward to the exciting developments, perspectives, and discoveries that he will bring to our institution.”


Bader expressed his enthusiasm for his new role, saying, “For as long as I can remember I have been enamored with the night sky, and from the first time I stepped foot into a planetarium I knew what my career would be. My passion for curiosity and encouraging others to think about the universe around them makes my work an absolute pleasure. I am a staunch proponent of accessibility, inclusion, and diversity in STEAM. Over the last 7 years, I have been managing planetariums, at the University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Arlington. I am thrilled to be a part of the incredible future of the Strasenburgh Planetarium and RMSC!”


Bader will officially assume his role as Planetarium Director at The RMSC by November 1. The RMSC eagerly anticipates his contributions to our institution.


The mission of the RMSC is to inspire a better future for all through curiosity, exploration, and participation in science, culture, and the natural world. The RMSC includes the RMSC Museum & Science Center, the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium, and the RMSC Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum & Science Center with more than 200 interactive exhibits, the Planetarium with a 65-foot dome screen and several hands-on exhibits, and the Nature Center on 900 acres of land and 14 miles of trails, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of the Rochester Region’s past and present, including its rich history of social and technological innovation. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top five most visited attractions serving children and families.


For more information about the RMSC, visit rmsc.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

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