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Captain Morgan receiving instructions for the classroom demonstrations
Captain Morgan receiving instructions for the classroom demonstrations from Bryan who assembled our skeleton

Welcome to the Science and Math Education Center

We are a library and a planetarium...

and conduct educational outreach for you!


We serve students, faculty, area teachers with a plethora of K-16

physical science, biological science, and math content

books, activity kits, professional materials, literature,
and video resources.

2016 Events and Educational Outreach Activities and


                   Come Tour the Spring Night Sky on Tuesday, June 6,
           with the Peterson Planetarium Star Party Crew & Mark Brown!

MARCH 30 - Video recording coming soon!!
Intro to Telescopes & Astrophotography Techniques
by Mark Brown
April 21... Rain cancelled >
Peterson Planetarium presents:
Stargazing: Touring the Spring Night Sky with Mark & the Peterson Planetarium Star Crew

RESCHEDULED FOR Tuesday, June 6 - same crew, same place - Ross Natural Area Reservation


ross-path-highlighted MARCH 30 - Video recording coming soon!!
Peterson Planetarium presents:
How to SAFELY Observe the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 by Mark Brown
Video recording coming soon!


March 16
Peterson Planetarium presents:
SOFIA - Catching a Ride on NASA's Flying Observatory by Melanie Knocke... You Tube Video recording is at

March 4
Enhancing your Future!
ESU campus

March 2
STEM Night in Oak Park Elementary, Overland Park KS!

February 28
Peterson Planetarium presents:
The Mars Exploration Rover Missions: Spirit & Opportunity by Phil Knocke
You Tube Video recording is at



request a planetarium custom showing and tours of the Johnston Geology Museum and Schmidt Natural History Museum. Preview the museums online at:
--ESU Johnston Geology Museum -vintage 1996 webpage! Travel and Tourism-Geology Museum Tourism - Geology Museum

The Science and Math Education Center (SMEC) is all about well... education in the sciences and mathematics!  We operate a STEM - science, technology, engineering, and math educational library and planetarium.  Our library has books, but also activity and project kits and ideas! The staff in SMEC keeps busy obtaining, classifying, and cataloging new resource acquisitions and discarding dated materials.  We help students and area teachers to research and find needed resources for background and lesson plans. We listen to your collection development suggestions - so put in a request.  We listen to and work with our SMEC Advisory Committee members to conduct educational outreach from Sí Se Puede to presenting at individual schools such as Sacred Heart School. Our planetarium has a regular schedule of planetarium presentations every other Saturday and nearly every Thursday. We also take requests. For more visit our planetarium webpage.

We have a dedicated crew of SMEC volunteers and if you would like to spend time with us, just drop by and find out more!  Our volunteers help in the library and planetarium.  Volunteers re-shelve books and help to create resource cards and design new kits. With volunteer help, we have made  Kansas invertebrate fossil, natural resources, and rock cycle sets. We have an archeological set for check-out as well with early people's trash - from pottery shards to spent projectile points - and more modern, 19th/20th century, "trash" including broken dishes and door knobs.  SMEC volunteers have helped with collecting from a significant fossil site, follow-up with labeling and photographing this newest vertebrate fossil collection. In particular, these Pennsylvanian age bones of amphibians and reptiles were donated by Naomi Peterson to the Johnston Geology Museum for all to study; someday, a museum director may even create a display of these important fossils. In the planetarium, volunteers have been created scripts and shows for live planetarium presentations.   Read on to learn more of what we do and who we are...

Our Purpose

The Emporia State University Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC) serves students, faculty, and area teachers!  This STEM Center includes library resources, planetarium programs, and educational outreach.  We are committed to the improvement of pre-service and in-service preparation for teaching. These services include dissemination of curriculum materials, hands-on outreach activities, staff development, research within school districts, state-wide research, and science and mathematics curriculum development.

SMEC is supported financially with funding from donations as well as the Departments of Biology, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences as well as the The Teachers College.  Our resource center is open to the ESU community as well as the greater Emporia and surrounding communities* for your use.  While we are not funded by the main library, our 10,000 available items complement the University Libraries & Archives collection. This win-win situation means our resources can be searched in the Center and by using the Kellogg on-line catalog.


SMEC Resources

SMEC Office
          SMEC Office       Science & Math

How to use our facilities:

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Hours, Location, & Contact

Hours: Monday-Friday,
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesdays open til 9 pm
& by appointment       
Mail: Emporia State University
One Kellogg Circle
Campus Box 4030
Emporia, KS  66801-5415
Location: Science Hall 177 Phone:

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Our Staff

SMEC and Planetarium Staff for Spring 2017

SMEC Interim Director
Scott Capes
Emporia State University

Graduate Student Assistant, Planetarium

Natalie Martin
Graduate, Masters Chemistry, Emporia State University

Student Assistant, Planetarium, Operator & Presenter; Custom Show Designer & Star Gazing Coordinator

Courtney Barger
Undergraduate, BSE Candidate, Physical Science, Emporia State University

Student Assistant, SMEC & Planetarium, Astronomy Research Coordinator

Stephanie Whittet
Undergraduate, BSE Candidate, Emporia State University


Student Assistant, SMEC & Planetarium, Earth Science Research Coordinator

Melinda Dome
Undergraduate, BS Earth Science Candidate, Emporia State University

Student Assistant, SMEC
Leora Seiler
Undergraduate, BSE Candidate, Emporia State University

From the past...

SMEC and Planetarium Staff for Spring 2016

Pictures were loaded and now have disappeared. We are expecting them to return sometime soon...

Samantha birthday    


Image Left - Back row, left to right: Bryan Longwell; Sarah Noller; Les Parks; Susie Aber; Madison Galliano
Front row left to right:
Courtney Barger; Rhyan Sawyer; Megan Sprague; Samantha Myrick.
Image Right - left to right: Rhyan Sawyer; Lizeth Magana; Bob Everoski (volunteer); Andy Kuhn (volunteer).

SMEC and Planetarium Staff for Fall Semester 2015
           Holiday Celebration 12-2015  Samantha   Sarah

Image left:  Back row, left to right: Madison Galliano; Bryan Longwell; Andy Kuhn (volunteer); Rhyan Sawyer; Lizeth Magana; Megan Sprague; Jon Vopata (volunteer); Janet (Phy.Sci. student secretary).
Samantha Myrick; Susie Aber, Director.
Front row, left to right: Les Parks; Ginger Tabares (Phy.Sci. Administrative Assistant); Shelby Williams (Phy.Sci. student secretary); Lauren Miller (Phy.Sci. student secretary); Courtney Barger.
Image center: Samantha Myrick.  Image right: Sarah Noller. Nick Ramsey not pictured.

SMEC and Planetarium Staff for Spring 2015

staff2015 minus Christian

SMEC and Planetarium Staff for Spring Semester 2015
Back row, left to right: Lizeth Magana; Rhyan Sawyer; Susie Aber, Director.
Front row: Chris Hayen; Bryan Longwell; Sarah Noller. Christian Lollar is also on staff and is pictured below.

SMEC and Planetarium Staff for Fall 2014

ChrisLizethRhyanAlyssaBryan        Christian

October-December 2014 - left to right> Chris Hayen, Lizeth Magana, Rhyan Sawyer,
Alyssa Floro, Bryan Longwell
 September 2014 - Sarah Noller, Christian Lollar, Bryan Longwell

SMEC and Planetarium Staff for Fall 2013-Spring 2014

smec staff 10-2013

smec staff 8-2013

  Image left: October 2013-May 2014 Image right: August-October 2013

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Latest update 4/24/2017.