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Scotia-Glenville, SUNY-Poly museums to merge

Scotia-Glenville, SUNY-Poly museums to merge

The Scotia-Glenville Children’s Museum is merging with SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Children’s Museu
Scotia-Glenville, SUNY-Poly museums to merge
Peggy Labrie, a teacher from the Scotia Glenville Childrens' Museum, works with Arongen school third-graders Jack Voce and Malena Hampton in this 2011 file image.

The Scotia-Glenville Children’s Museum is merging with SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Children’s Museum of Science and Technology.

Founded in 1978, SGCM has served as a traveling museum “without walls” that travels to communities in a 50-mile radius and serves 60,000 people every year, according to its website, travelingmuseum.org.

SUNY Poly’s CMOST was first founded as the Junior Museum in 1954 and offers hands-on, interactive exhibits for children to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM.

While the merger was announced last Wednesday, it has been in the works for quite some time.

“This is a conversation that precedes my leadership,” CMOST Vice President Catherine Gilbert said last Thursday. “The organizations had the desire to expand the mission and are looking progressively to serve and allow children to explore, discover and work together.

“Blending the two models of both museums allows us to make sure we’re canvassing the Capital District and beyond in getting these kids access in hands-on learning-based activity that focuses on the STEM fields.”

The merged museums will be named the SUNY Poly Children’s Museum of Science and Technology. Administrative offices will be located at CMOST’s current location, 250 Jordan Road in North Greenbush.

Pradeep Haldar, CMOST’s board chair, said all current CMOST and SGCM programs and activities will be maintained, and existing staff and personnel will be absorbed.

The SUNY Polytechnic Institute is currently in the process of developing a $100 million expansion and new museum space for CMOST at its Albany NanoTech Institute complex.

“Eventually, we will be in this new, expanded facility, and this merger is building the momentum for all the incredible growth that’s happening,” Gilbert said.

“We are incredibly excited about combining SGCM’s unique educational and cultural opportunities with the innovation and optimism that are such strong elements of the SUNY Poly and CMOST culture,” Annette Trapini, the SGCM board president, said in a statement. “Through our collaborative efforts, we can extend the breadth and reach of the traveling ‘museum without walls’ to inspire more of our youngest citizens.”

The boards of CMOST and SGCM have approved the merger, which is expected to be finalized immediately after state approval.

“The merger will close upon that signature from the state Education Department,” Gilbert explained. “We anticipate it might take four months.”

The merger will be complete sometime this spring, she said.

Haldar said the traveling museum’s exhibit will only expand, and will continue to travel to students around the region.

“The goal is to grow the traveling model more and duplicate it in other parts of the state,” Haldar, who is also the SUNY Poly Dean of Nanoscale Engineering and Technology Innovation, said Thursday. “We want to see the people and kids we serve expand.”

The plans for the museum’s merger and expansion are intended to make it a “crown jewel” of the region, Haldar said.

“We have a vision for the museum to be the first of its kind and the best there is in what it is capable of doing,” he said. “The plans we have to grow it are really incredible, and this is a good first step to achieve them.

“We hope this will become a destination for little children to get kids inspired about science and technology,” Haldar continued. “When it will actually happen is only a matter of time.”

Reach Gazette reporter Kate Seckinger at 395-3113, [email protected] or @KateSeckinger on Twitter on Twitter.

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