Marc Wiskoff Combines Love of Science and Volunteering To Make a Difference at Center
Marc Wiskoff is credited for helping to make the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium a pinnacle of astronomical learning.
He was recognized for his outstanding leadership and tireless effort by receiving the Calidus Management Volunteer of the Year Award, during the Area Agency on Aging’s 26th Annual Prime Time Awards Breakfast.
His love of science and volunteering are behind all of his successes at the center.
Here’s how it all started.
The moment Marc Wiskoff walked into the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach, he knew he had found his volunteer home.
The former teacher, professor, salesman, and business owner went there to celebrate his son’s birthday. But as he looked around and chatted with the staff, he realized there was so much opportunity to expand the center’s programming – and educate many more people about the importance of science.
So he decided to come back and learn more. After all, he was looking for something inspiring to do as a retiree living in Wellington who loved science.
“I’ve loved astronomy since I was a boy – it’s a sheer wonder of what’s out there,” he said. “I wanted to be involved.”
And that’s how Marc’s volunteer work started at the center five years ago.
To date, he has put in more than 2,000 hours in building an astronomical and astrological educational program unlike anything else in Palm Beach County.
Just about every weekend he’s at the center giving solar viewing tours in the observatory and doing presentations on the night sky at evening events.
What’s more, he has secured donations for telescopes and star-gazing technology which has enabled the center to build large community events around the topic of astronomy and engage the public in an area of science that is not often talked about.
In addition, Marc has created post cards, coloring pages and star maps to enhance the visitor experience at the center, and most recently secured a commission for a space-themed mural in the stairwell leading up to the science observatory celebrating science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.
“Why did I get so involved? That’s simple. It’s gratifying to serve so many different people from all age groups and ethnicities,” he said.
Marc grew up in New York City and spent much of his life as a school teacher and then as a professor and information technology director at the City University of New York. He’s done stints in the private sector as a salesman for Motorola and ran his own communications business, but he always loved teaching others.
For much of his life, he didn’t do much volunteering, other than play ball with neighborhood kids and get involved here and there with programs at the local YMCA. But when he retired to Wellington to be closer to his extended family, he looked forward to contributing to a cause he cared much about.
“To me, volunteering is all about helping others and not worrying about getting a paycheck. Like I’ve said, it’s very gratifying,” Marc said.
As for the center, Marc is far from done. He’s been working on new programming on renewable energy so more people understand its importance today and in the years to come.
“There’s much more work to be done,” he said.