Spitz Lecture

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Gary E. Sampson, Armand Spitz Lecturer

Gary Sampson is the Director Emeritus of the Gary E. Sampson Planetarium at Wauwatosa West High School in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. In addition to operating the planetarium at West High School, Gary taught high school astronomy and Earth science for 38 years. His astronomy students were extensively involved with the development and field testing of the Project STAR and Investigating Astronomy initiatives which resulted in the publication of the first-ever high school astronomy textbooks.

Under the auspices of Projects STAR and SPICA, Sampson has presented astronomy workshops to more than 400 elementary, middle school and high school teachers. He was a Teacher-Leader for astronomy exchanges with high school students in China in 1988 and in Australia in 1991. In 1993 the Astronomical Society of the Pacific honored Gary as the initial recipient of the Brennan Award for excellence in teaching high school astronomy.

Sampson is a former president of GLPA and was GLPA’s Instructional Materials chair for 13 years. He has done numerous workshops and presentations at GLPA conferences and was co-chair of the GLPA conferences in the Milwaukee area in 1984 and 2008. He is a former chair of the International Planetarium Society Education Committee and was the IPS Script Bank Coordinator from 1990-2003.

Gary is an avid gardener and enjoys bicycling. He is a member of Team GLPA, a group of GLPA planetarians who participate in bicycle rides, including the annual United Performing Arts Fund Ride for the Arts in Milwaukee.