Dennis M. Bartels, an internationally known science education and policy expert, was Executive Director of the Exploratorium from 2006 to 2015. He holds a PhD in Education Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University, and his work has received more than $28 million in grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other sources. During his tenure, he led a historic capital project and a $300 million capital campaign to relocate the Exploratorium to Piers 15/17 on San Francisco’s famed waterfront.
In 2009, he was appointed to the Education Working Group for the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 2010, he was named to the Ocean Research Advisory Panel (ORAP), which provides independent advice and guidance to the more than 20 federal agencies of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program.
Dr. Bartels has testified before committees of both the United States Senate and House of Representatives and before the full House Science Committee concerning the role of the NSF in K–12 science and math education. He’s served on the Advisory Committees of the NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate and the Environmental Research and Education Directorate. He has also been an invited guest and speaker about science and mathematics education in England, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Malaysia, Brazil, and China.
Dr. Bartels was elected an AAAS Fellow for his energetic leadership in systemic science education reform, informal science education, and research and development of innovative mathematics, science, and technology curricula. He is also an elected Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and of the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE).
The Exploratorium was founded in 1969 by physicist and educator Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, who served as the museum’s director until his death in 1985. From 1991 until 2005, the museum was led by renowned French scientist and educator Goéry Delacôte. Dr. Dennis Bartels led the museum from 2006 to 2015.