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Pre-conference Workshop

GLIPSA: Workshop on Live, Interactive Programming
Karrie Berglund (organizer)

Wednesday, approximately 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Limit: 40 participants — Cost: $30

This all day workshop is intended to give GLPA attendees a sense of what happens at the annual Live Interactive Planetarium Symposium (LIPS). LIPS is a multi-day gathering that focuses on all facets of live programming: presentation skills, sample activities, etc. As with LIPS, ideas and content presented at GLIPSA are intended to apply to everyone who does live shows, no matter whether those shows are in a portable dome or fixed, with a digital system or starball. GLIPSA is open to anyone registered to attend GLPA; there are 40 slots available, which will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The price of the workshop includes lunch.

Conference Workshops


Workshop: Adapting NISE Network's FREE "Explore Science: Earth and Space Toolkits" for Your Institution
Frank Kusiak

Workshop session 1 (3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
45 minutes, Limit: 35 — Cost: Free

The National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network has been creating free hands-on science activities and professional development resources for over a decade. This workshop will focus on the Explore Science: Earth & Space project –a collaboration between NISE Net and NASA. Whether familiar with the network or new to NISE's free space science material, participants will learn about how NISE Net develops and disseminates materials. All NISE Net resources are published under a Creative Commons license, so partners are able to modify the materials so that it fits their practice in order to reach a diverse and broad audience. Workshop participants will get a general project overview and be introduced to NISE Net's hands-on space and Earth science activities and training materials. Together, we'll try out the activities and brainstorm ways to adapt them for various kinds of institutions and audiences and share out to the group.

NISE Net's Earth and Space Project:
Explore Science: Earth and Space toolkit:
For more info on Earth and Space events across the country, please watch this video:

Panel Discussion: Do You Read Me? Making Hearing Impaired and Deaf Guests Feel Welcome in the Dome
Derrick Rohl, Drew Gilmore, Steve Burkland, and Dan Tell

Workshop session 1 (3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
45 minutes — Cost: Free

Pursuit and experimentation with open captions ("subtitles") or device-based closed captioning systems have led many planetariums to explore how to best serve all guests. Staff from Sudekum Planetarium, Adler Planetarium, and California Academy of Sciences will share different possibilities, reasoning behind their respective institutions' decisions, lessons from industry format standards, and feedback from guests. Learn the varying options available as important steps toward the goal of planetarium accessibility for all.

Short Course: Starry Night Favourites for the Stars, Sun, Moon, and Planets
Dale W. Smith

Workshop session 1 (3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
45 minutes, Limit: 96 — Cost: Free

This short course will demonstrate many of the favourites I have developed using Starry Night in Spitz SciDome. These cover applications to stars and the solar system and can be useful in a wide range of teaching and show modes. Besides common topics such as the stars and sun at different latitudes, some less common topics will include the sky in the far past or future, the analemma, a circumpolar moon, Phobos and Deimos in the Martian sky, the Sun seen from Uranus and Pluto, Venus in the Mayan sky, and more. SciDome users can get a complete set of these favourites. (This course will be held in the SciDome-equipped Ritter Planetarium.)

Workshop: Evaluating Live Programs
Karrie Berglund

Workshop session 2 (4:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.)
45 minutes, Limit: 40 — Cost: Free

In this workshop we will explore several questions: What makes an outstanding live, interactive planetarium presentation? Do we all use the same criteria for evaluating programs? What aspects of your own presentations do you feel are strong or weak? Attendees will share their own ideas for giving and receiving constructive feedback.

Panel Discussion: Adapting Pre-recorded Programs to Different Audiences
Jeanne Bishop, Bob Bonadurer, Katy Downing, Sara Schultz, and Robin Gill

Workshop session 2 (4:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.)
45 minutes — Cost: Free

Last year Jeanne Bishop published an article in the Planetarian's IPS Education Committee column, "Seeking What Works." The article was a discussion of ways that a number of planetarians have adjusted showings of their pre-recorded programs to fit the needs of different groups. These procedures include students of different age, community groups, and groups with special needs. In this panel, presenters will continue this discussion with ways they have adapted full-dome and other shows to their different audiences.

Short Course: Bright Lights, Big Scopes: Urban and Suburban Public Outreach
Mike Smail, Michael McConville, and Paulette Epstein

Workshop session 3 (5:15 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)
45 minutes — Cost: Free

A semi-known Americana singer once crooned, "You can't see stars from the city." But, as many of us know, it's actually not that bad. Even in substantially light polluted regions, the Moon, planets, and other celestial objects still shine through. We'll take a look at building an urban/suburban astronomy outreach program from the ground up, featuring case studies from the Adler Planetarium, the Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College, and the Michigan Science Center's Dassault Systèmes Planetarium.

Short Course: Fulldome Production with Blender
Waylena McCully

Workshop sessions 3 & 4 (5:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.)
90 minutes, Limit: 40 — Cost: $5.00

Overview of using Blender specifically for full dome video production. Materials will include example files, step-by-step instructions the techniques used in the example files, and tips on ways to speed up the workflow.

Workshop: Big Astronomy at Our Fingertips
Shannon Schmoll, Renae Kerrigan, and Vivian White

Workshop sessions 3 & 4 (5:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.)
90 minutes, Limit: 40 — Cost: Free

As part of the upcoming Big Astronomy planetarium show, a hands-on toolkit will be distributed to planetariums and astronomy clubs in 2020. Come preview these activities, give feedback, and receive free materials for use in your planetarium. Topics include: how telescopes work, dark sky awareness, representational color, as well as cultural and citizen science.

Panel Discussion: The Value of Education in the Planetarium
Jeanne Bishop, Dayna Thompson, Mark SubbaRao, and Sharon Shanks

Workshop session 4 (6:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.)
45 minutes — Cost: Free

Two new documents have been produced by the International Planetarium Society (IPS) which should be helpful to many planetariums in diverse facilities. Both have the title of "The Value of the Planetarium in Education." One is a white paper of four pages, while the second is a one-page attractive summary. This topic has been addressed previously by GLPA and others, but not recently and not as thoroughly. The following are seen as major reasons for the document:

  1. A rationale for building or purchasing a planetarium.
  2. A rationale for funding an existing planetarium and keeping it in operation.
  3. A continuing rationale for all who work in planetariums to disseminate positive information about planetariums.
  4. A document for referral by everyone involved in planetarium work, with ideas that can be shared with administrators, teachers, planetarium attendees, and the voting community.
  5. A document for use by planetarium educators that touches on some best practices for their work.

IPS President Mark SubbaRao asked Jeanne Bishop, Chair of the IPS Education Committee, to prepare the document. Dayna Thompson and Sharon Shanks gave major help. The two versions of the document are now ready for use. How the versions were prepared, elaboration of the individual points made in the document sections, and where to access the document will be discussed by the panel. Sharon Shanks will describe how planetarium/astronomy research in recent years has added substance to statements about the educational value of planetariums. Attendees will receive copies of the two document versions.