Part-time Floor Aides, who performed many of the programs(except Planetarium and Laser-Light shows), and answered questions regarding building exhibits, reported to the Floor Supervisor(or Floor Manager) on duty. In many cases, the Floor Staff was composed of college students(and, occasionally, high school students) who had an interest in Science and Technology.
In 1983, the Floor Staff became part of the Buhl Science Center's new Department of Visitor Services and Volunteers. Although there had always been a few volunteers assisting with Buhl programs, this new department agressively sought volunteers to assist in many aspects of Buhl operations. After a few years, volunteers were involved throughout the Buhl Science Center. For instance, beginning in June of 1986, a newly expanded program in Buhl's Astronomical Observatory was almost entirely operated by volunteers; this permitted Buhl's Observatory to be open to the public every Friday evening, weather permitting, year-round. In addition to many senior citizen volunteers, as well as some young-to-middle-aged volunteers working in the Science professions, some of the best and brightest high school students in Allegheny County became Buhl Volunteers(as an example of this, click here to see a photograph and accompanying news article, from the front page of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
When a Floor Aide was hired, he or she was given a "Handbook for Aides" which gave detailed information about the many exhibits and programs of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science. Below are three copies of the handbook. The first(designated "No. 8") was published in June of 1954. The second(designated "Copy 25") was produced in the 1970s. The third, issued on February 28, 1983, was the first one produced by the renamed Buhl Science Center. These handbooks give a good description of the exhibits and programs of The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, at the time of publication.
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