The digital publication of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)

In Memoriam: Michael Templeton

[Science centers] are generally more accessible in the community, and they allow one to playfully investigate one’s surroundings.

Michael Templeton (in “Science Museums: Do-It-Yourself Teachers,” New York Times, April 22, 1979)
Michael Templeton
Photo courtesy Oregon Live

With sadness, the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) shares that Michael Templeton, former executive director of ASTC, passed away on April 26, 2022. With his passing, the science center community and broader science engagement field has lost a true advocate who firmly believed in the power of science centers to provide high-quality science learning opportunities for all.

Trained as a physicist and mathematician, Michael was a fierce supporter for public engagement with science. He held numerous leadership positions at science museums in the Pacific Northwest, including director of science at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington; executive director at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon; and the first interim director at the Museum at Warm Springs in Warm Springs, Oregon. Michael also extended his devotion to supporting science engagement to the national level, with roles at the U.S. National Science Foundation and at ASTC.

Truly committed to promoting science engagement among children, Michael may be best known for his integral role in developing science content for the animated television series, The Magic School Bus, which aired from 1994 to 1997. He also contributed to the math-focused animated series Cyberchase and was the inspiration for the character Dr. Marbles.

We share our condolences with Michael’s family, friends, and colleagues.

Read more about Michael’s life and legacy in this obituary.

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