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Sheila Grinell

Sheila is a passionate supporter of women, women in STEM, and is an innovator, implementer, and advocate for interactive science museums. She led the effort to create the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix.


Sheila grew up in the Bronx and attended The Bronx High of Science. After graduate school in 1969, Sheila joined with the famous Frank Oppenheimer to create The Exploratorium, the seminal center that has been widely emulated around the world. From 1987 on, Sheila served as a consultant about science communication to corporations, professional associations, museums and television producers. She developed a week-long executive education program for people starting science centers and wrote the leading book in the field. 


Sheila came to Arizona in 1993 to lead the creation of a new, purpose-built science center, serving as President and CEO.  Matching a twenty-million dollar commitment from the City of Phoenix, Sheila and the trustees worked together to open the Science Center, with 300 exhibits, a giant screen theater, a planetarium and other amenities.  Annual attendance reached over four hundred thousand during her tenure.


Post-retirement Sheila launched a new career as a novelist and will soon publish her third novel, set in Arizona, working title, Why Are You Here? She continues to volunteer with a number of civic organizations focused on science education and women's issues.

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