Preparing the children of today for a more scientific tomorrow.

The Science Museum of Long Island is a not-for-profit science education center located on the Leeds Pond Preserve in Nassau County. SMLI is committed to providing young people an excitement about science through active discovery and problem solving. In addition, SMLI helps to foster a sense of wonder, respect and appreciation for the environment by using the backdrop of the Leeds Pond Preserve to teach sound conservation practices.

The Science Museum offers enhanced science education to children during afterschool & holiday break workshops, school field trips, outreach programs, scout badges and science summer camp. We also offer enrichment workshops for all ages, children's birthday parties and a variety of community events throughout the year. We invite teachers and community leaders to learn about our field trips, environmental projects, partnerships and event opportunities, as well as the different types of virtual programs and programs that we can bring to your site.

Please note: All activities at the Science Museum are scheduled, pre-registered.  We do not have any exhibits open to the public.


In 1962, a small advertisement was placed in the local newspaper that read, "Anyone interested in organizing a Hands-On Science Museum in Long Island is invited to come to the home of DORIS LEONARD."  Leonard believed that an understanding of scientific principles was essential for the U.S. to meet the challenges of the current times and the 20 Long Island residents and educators who responded to her ad agreed.  All of them perceived a cultural and educational need in the community and within a few months, established the North Shore Junior Science Museum, the institution known today as the Science Museum of Long Island. 

In 1963, the North Shore Junior Science Museum was chartered by the Board of Regents of the state of New York. Their original goal was to develop a non-profit participatory science activity center to provide a focused instructional setting for young people and to encourage inquiring minds by involving them in the excitement of scientific discovery.

During the first decade, activities were offered in a variety of locations.  Recognizing the need for a stable base of operations they began to look for a permanent home.  In 1973, the effort brought SMLI to its present location which was once the estate of Herman Goldman, an attorney and expert in maritime law. Located on the Leeds Pond Preserve, the landmark agreement was one of the first public-private partnerships in Nassau County, marking a relationship that has continued for seven decades and many administrations. 

The preserve, which includes Leeds Pond, is named after Warner M. Leeds, who owned the pond from 1906 until his death in 1925. The 36-acre preserve provides SMLI students a unique blend of environments for scientific study and curiosity. With its pond, marine edge, stream, woodlands and meadows, it offers a wide diversity of plant and animal life and serves as a springboard for the detailed investigation of local ecological habitats. 


During the 1980's the name of the Museum was changed to the Science Museum of Long Island to reflect the wider geographic audience that programs had begun to attract. Today SMLI continues to build on the legacy of its founders and continues to fulfill its vital mission: the education of the scientists and citizens of today and tomorrow, emphasizing hands-on learning that is as fun and fascinating as it is informative. 


The Mission of the Science Museum of Long Island (SMLI) is to:

  • Stimulate and nurture children’s natural interest in science;

  • Provide opportunities for children to be actively involved in scientific discovery;

  • Allow children to experience the fun and excitement of scientific investigation;

  • Teach science through hands-on learning and the development of problem-solving skills;

  • Elevate the level of science literacy for people of all ages;