Sheldon Schafer

Part-Time Instructor

Olin Hall 026
(309) 677-3010

M.S., Wagner College, Staten Island, NY
B.S., The Ohio State University - Columbus, Ohio


Sheldon Schafer retired as the Director of Education and Planetarium Curator at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in 2014, and now holds the title of Director Emeritus. He was affiliated with the museum for 38 years. He continues as the volunteer curator of Peoria's Community Solar System, the world's most complete large scale model of the Solar System, which spreads across all seven continents of the Earth. Peoria's solar system model has been recognized internationally, was in the Guinness Book of Records from 1993-1998, and he has been featured in programs on the Learning Channel, History Channel, and BBC.

He spends much of his free time exercising, with family including 3 grandsons living in the Chicago area, eclipse chasing, and astro-tourism (travel to out of the way places in the world that have an astronomy lure). He also bicycles, and has led the summertime Pedal Peoria City Tours for 17 years. He is on the local board of the Haiti Mission Connection, for which he has made several trips to Haiti in conjunction with their clean water initiatives in the mountain village of Bodarie.


Since 1980, Sheldon has taught Astronomy in the Physics Department at Bradley University, and continues to teach one or two sections of Astronomy 300 (introductory astronomy for non-science majors).


Sheldon's special interests have been archaeoastronomy and astronomy education. He has traveled to numerous archaeoastronomic sites in the Americas and British Isles. In astronomy education, he has over fifty conference paper presentations, publications and panels at meetings of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association and International Planetarium Society.


Sheldon has been involved with the Center for STEM Education at Bradley, serving on the advisory board. He is a Fellow of both the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) and the International Planetarium Society. He is past-president and honorary life member of GLPA, was selected as the Armand Spitz Memorial Lecturer in 2015, and received the Mentor Award in 2015. He received the STAR Award from the National Science Teacher Assocation (NSTA) in 1987. He also volunteers for the Peoria Astronomical Society, serving as program chair and observatory host at Northmoor Observatory.