Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
The San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT) officially opened its new location in the heart of Port San Antonio on Wednesday. Located in the Port’s 14,000-sq. ft. Mabry Conference Center, SAMSAT will deliver an array of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs in partnership with area educators and other stakeholders starting this summer.
SAMSAT seeks to become a world-class science and technology museum and STEM innovation center. The Mabry building will provide space for SAMSAT to develop a preview facility, a STEM center, and over the long term, a museum to showcase different technological displays dating from the 1800s to the modern era. SAMSAT founder David Monroe amassed the large collection, including hundreds of items ranging from early computing machines to first-generation inventions that have revolutionized the world, including wireless networks, camera phones, and cybersecurity hardware.
“We’ve transformed this former military chapel-turned event space into a staging area for STEM education,” Monroe told some of the museum’s first public guests during a reception Wednesday evening.
James Castro, SAMSAT president and CEO, Monroe, SAMSAT Board Director Shawn Williams, and Museum Curator Jeff Wyatt from The Museum Practice, along with others, plan to reach out to the greater San Antonio community with a more interactive website for booking tours and a Facebook page for future events.
“The Port is providing the space not only for free, we are covering the costs of utilities,” said Port San Antonio President and CEO Roland Mower. “Sometimes you have to take on something that will benefit the community and help fulfill a long range vision.”
SAMSAT will launch with a portion of its collection curated for display and programming at the Mabry around three themes: cybersecurity, the development of the personal computer, and early communication. Initially, tours will be available by appointment only until the museum’s volunteer base is established and fundraising supports the hiring of permanent staff.