2013 Conference Videos

On October 16-19, 2013, the 49th Annual GLPA Conference was hosted by the Peoria Riverfront Museum in Peoria, Illinois.

Click one of the links below to view video recordings from selected sessions during the conference.

You might also be interested in the 2013 conference proceedings, which are available to GLPA members.

2013 Conference Welcome

Welcome message from GLPA President, David Leake

Paper Session #1

Paper Session #1

  • International Collaboration—It’s a Win-win Situation · Dave Weinrich, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Moorhead, MN
    Abstract: There’s a big wide world outside of our country’s borders and much that we can learn from our colleagues in other nations. You don’t necessarily even need to leave home. The paper includes an update on the Ghana Planetarium, five years after its establishment.
  • Evansville’s New Planetarium – The Koch Immersive Theater · Mitch Luman, Koch Immersive Theater, Evansville, IN
    Abstract: When it opens in early 2014, Evansville’s new Koch Immersive Theater will be more than the sum of its parts. This newly constructed full dome theater, which touts a 40-foot tilted Astro-Tec dome, 4K x 4K Digistar 5 projection system and technology provided by Bowen Technovation, will be a fitting replacement for the community that provided Indiana with its first planetarium. This paper provides an inside look at the design and construction of a museum project that was more than 9 years in the making.
  • Combine Art and Comet ISON · Dayle Brown, Pegasus Productions, South Bend, IN
    Abstract: Somewhere in your world there is an artist who would love to put together an exhibit of Comet Art. As part of Chuck Bueter’s COMET FESTIVAL I am doing just that. The art exhibit will be held in the Colfax Cultural Center, South Bend, IN. An art exhibit will bring a whole new audience to your planetarium.
  • Stories Among the Stars · April S. Whitt, Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta, GA
    Abstract: Fernbank Science Center and the Southern Order of Storytellers collaborated on a fundraiser to benefit both groups. We provided the science, and they brought the stories.
  • Planetarium Mash-Up for Adult Swim event 2/25/13 · Deb Lawson, SpaceQuest Planetarium, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
    Abstract: This presentation will offer information about this inaugural fund-raising event for the museum and planetarium. I’ll explain how we got involved, decided on a topic and what we gained – facility exposure and appeal to new demographic, financial gain, new option for adult corporate and event rentals, etc.

Astronomy Update

Astronomy Update

Dr. Ronald Kaitchuck again presented the annual Astronomy Update Lecture. Dr. Kaitchuck is professor of Physics and Astronomy at Ball State University where he engages in research and manages the planetarium. Ron is a long-time GLPA member best known for his summer planetarium workshops. As an active researcher, he is well qualified to bring us up-to-date on what has happened in the field of astronomy since the last GLPA conference.

Speaker: Michael Wysession

Speaker: Michael Wysession

Michael Wysession is a world leader in the areas of seismology and geophysical education. He has developed several means of using the seismic waves from earthquakes to "see" into the Earth and create three-dimensional pictures of Earth’s interior. Wysession is author or co-author of over 20 textbooks ranging from elementary to graduate school levels. Wysession constructed the first computer-generated animation of how seismic waves propagate within the Earth from an earthquake, creating a 20-minute movie that is used in many high school and college classrooms. He is currently lead-PI on a project installing a network of seismometers in Madagascar to better understand mantle dynamics beneath the African Plate. Wysession is the designer and instructor of a 3-day course, Earth, Moon, and Mars, which he regularly teaches at different NASA centers. He is currently an editor of AGU’s Geophysical Research Letters. He has authored an internationally acclaimed video course as part of The Teaching Company's Great Courses series (48 lectures on "How the Earth Works"), and has finished taping a second one (36 lectures on the "Geologic Wonders of the World"). Wysession is Chair the NSF-sponsored Earth Science Literacy Initiative, leader of the Earth and Space Science design team for the NRC's Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards, and team leader for Earth and Space Science in the writing of the new Next Generation Science Standards.

Speaker: Scott Altman

Speaker: Scott Altman

Scott's hometown is Pekin, Illinois, where his parents, Fred and Sharon Altman, currently reside. An already decorated Navy pilot, he was awarded the Navy Air Medal for his role as a strike leader flying over Southern Iraq. Following his return from this deployment, he was selected for the astronaut program. He was the pilot on STS-90 Neurolab (1998), and STS-106 (2000). During the 12-day mission, the crew successfully prepared the International Space Station for the arrival of the first permanent crew. He was the mission commander on STS-109 (2002), the fourth Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission and STS-125 Atlantis, the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission. Altman retired from NASA in September 2010 to join ASRC Research and Technology Solutions in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Paper Session #2a

Paper Session #2a

  • FEELING THE STARS: Accessibility of “The Little Star That Could” Program in the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center for Visitors Who are Blind or Have Low Vision · Anna Rebecca Green, James S. McDonnell Planetarium, St. Louis, MO
    Abstract: The James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center in Missouri serves a large and diverse population of visitors seeking a museum of science and technology. In general, the facilities and educational programs are compliant for visitors with differing needs, abilities and exceptionalities. There are universal design-based improvements and accommodations, however, being implemented to help visitors who are blind or have low vision have a more engaging and inclusive experience. This paper details the creation of an extended version of “The Little Star That Could” program in the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. The program offers accessibility to the target audience of pre-K through second grade students, their family members and instructors who are blind or have low vision. “Feeling the Stars” is the beginning of the creation of accessible programs for all planetarium shows offered in the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and hopefully for all planetaria worldwide that show “The Little Star That Could.” Furthermore, it serves to form a base for creating awareness of and the tools to aid the underserved population of planetarium visitors who are blind or have low vision.
  • Enriching Our Professional Development · Jean Creighton, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Manfred Olson Planetarium, Milwaukee, WI
    Abstract: Because our work is so specialized, we often have to build our own professional development opportunities to remain excited about what we do. I will describe some of the partnerships I have developed to learn more about the ins and outs of storytelling, familiarize myself with some of the large body of research on how people learn in general and in informal environments in particular, and investigate Greek mythology from scholarly sources. I hope this paper will give you ideas you can explore where you are.
  • NITARP: Educators Partnering with Astronomers for Research · Joe Childers, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Dayton, OH
    Abstract: NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research, partnering with a mentor professional astronomer for an original research project. I’ll describe the program itself, my experiences and the research my team did, and talk about how you might be able to get involved with NITARP.
  • Project Nanotarium: The Most Inexpensive, Quality DIY Planetarium on Earth · Jim Sweitzer, Marcelo Caplan, and David Morton, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL
    Abstract: Project Nanotarium’s goal is to develop small, inexpensive planetarium projectors, “Nanotariums,” that can be made by astronomy educators and their students anywhere in the world. The budgetary objective is to create a simple, optical planetarium projector for approximately $50 in readily-obtainable parts. Nanotariums feature educationally useful, single star field images that are projected using quality optics onto ceilings or walls. Bright, high color-temperature LEDs and the ability to easily create digital star fields for laser cutting or high-contrast photography have made this project possible. An added objective is that these projectors can eventually be offered as full or partial kits. The project team is developing corollary curricula on the physics of optics and light on which the projectors depend along with the digital files for the star fields and 3D printing for special parts. Nanotariums can rightly be termed a comprehensive DIY (Do It Yourself) STEM learning project. The proof of concept for this mini-projection system was successfully tested at Columbia College Chicago’s Summer 2013 Junior Research Scientists program where 16 high school students made their own personal Nanotariums.
  • Immersive Creations - NEURODOME · Patrick McPike, Mount Prospect, IL
    Abstract: The NEURODOME project is a non-profit, Kickstarter-backed planetarium show produced by Neurovision LLC and Immersive Creations LLC. Combining SCISS AB-developed UNIVIEW planetarium production technology with high-resolution brain imaging techniques, we are creating a dome-format animated film that examines what it is about the brain that drives us to journey into the unknown. Seamlessly interspersed with space visuals, the NEURODOME planetarium show will travel through the brain in the context of cutting-edge astronomical research. This project will present our most current portraits of neurons, networks, and regions of the brain responsible for exploratory behavior and lead you to imagine that an explorer is locked away in your own mind.
  • Scaling the Solar System: Making Connections with the Classroom, Community, and the Family of the Sun · Mark S. Reed, Peter F. Hurst Planetarium, Jackson, MI
    Abstract: The Solar System is a topic that many people enjoy learning about but within its inherent interest lay many misconceptions. Commercial products from puzzles, children’s books, toys, models, and textbooks often indirectly communicate information that is simply not true about the relative size or distances to objects within our Solar System. The purpose of my paper is to provide a working model that teachers can use in their own school or community.
  • Suggestions for Planetarium Survival and Success: Working with New Science Standards · Jeanne E. Bishop, Westlake Schools Planetarium, Westlake, OH
    Abstract: The new national STEM standards have deleted some of the astronomy content that was in earlier documents. State and local departments are following the national lead, so that fewer astronomy concepts are expected in the school curriculum. Our planetariums need to become better advocates than ever for both astronomy education generally and the ways that planetariums can be used to help teach astronomy concepts. We can continue to introduce in-depth astronomy ideas into the lives of the students in our regions, but we need to be aggressive and creative, both in our programming and our communication with teachers. In this paper, I will suggest what we can do in our planetariums to fulfill new STEM standards, such as cross-cutting concepts, while helping students learn more astronomy than what the STEM standards now call for. I also will share some ways we might communicate with teachers to help them realize the importance of coming to the planetarium for these lessons, even if their curriculum seems to include less astronomy.
  • CREATE: Creating Relevant Astronomy Education through Experience · Robert Bonadurer, Milwaukee Public Museum/Soref Planetarium, Milwaukee, WI
    Abstract: Funded by a NASA grant, the CREATE after school program immerses high school students in astronomy and then allows them to create a planetarium show. They will first create an individual video project for YouTube distribution. Students will choose and research their topics, write scripts, draw a storyboard, set art and music direction, and choose their narrator. Next, they will work in groups to produce scenes that will ultimately be compiled into one 25-minute full-dome planetarium show that will be distributed by October 2015. CREATE students will also act as mentors, presenting their final products to high school and middle school students, as well their families and the general public. These effort are all designed to stimulate interest pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.
  • Using WorldWide Telescope for Dome Productions · Doug Roberts, Northwestern University/Microsoft Research, Chicago, IL
    Abstract: WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is free software developed at Microsoft Research for the visual exploration of astronomical and Earth science data. The latest release of WWT can be used to produce and deliver experiences for planetarium domes. WWT is currently being used at several planetaria, from small inflatable domes all the way to large domes, such as the Grainger Sky Theater at the Adler Planetarium. WorldWide Telescope can be installed to work alongside vendor supplied software and systems. I will review the overall state the software and present examples of how WWT could be used in our planetaria, including producing parts of shows to running complete systems, including multi-projector calibration and interactive, real-time delivery. I will end by asking feedback on what functionality delegates would like to see in future releases of WWT.
  • Cosmic Wonder: A Journey Through Past, Present, and Future · Mike Smail, Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL
    Abstract: Earlier this year, the Adler team took on the challenge of creating a new planetarium show, visualized entirely in Microsoft Research’s WorldWide Telescope software. I’ll discuss the process behind our journey of wonder, observation, and discovery, a new audience interaction technique, some of the ins and outs of Worldwide Telescope, and reactions to the finished product.

Paper Session #2b

Paper Session #2b

  • The IPS’s Science and Data Visualization Task Force · Mark SubbaRao, Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL
    Abstract: I will give an overview of the International Planetarium Society’s newly formed Science and Data Visualization Task Force. The mission of the task force is to streamline the process of going from data to dome, increasing the potential for scientific communication and storytelling in the planetarium.
  • 10 Years of Fulldome Show Design: What Have We Learned? · Mike Murray, Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City, UT
    Abstract: The Clark (formerly Hansen) Planetarium started working in fulldome digital techniques in 2002. Since then it has produced 16 different shows, and each has been a unique learning experience. Through both internal and external post-evaluation, we are constantly applying new methods to our production pipeline. But these are not just about technical applications. Show topic selection, story development, script approach, narration style, sound design and other elements have gone through several changes. Recently we even conducted a survey to the planetarium community about show designs and audience expectations. Those results and our transformative experiences will be shared in this presentation.
  • TIPS on Planning and Implementing a Conversion to Fulldome Technology · Waylena McCully, William M. Staerkel Planetarium, Champaign, IL
    Abstract: The Technology Standards ad hoc committee has been busy composing the first draft of this new TIPS booklet. This document will be different from previous booklets in that it will need regular updating from members with a variety of technological perspectives. Learn about progress on this new TIPS booklet, and find out how you (yes, you!) can help.
  • Online Astronomical Clock Project · Adam Leis, Bowling Green State University (formerly), Bowling Green, OH
    Abstract: Astronomical clocks are fascinating machines that require an intimate understanding of mechanics, time, and any relevant astronomical events. In my studies, I stumbled upon astronomical clocks and found quite an interest in their unique ability to tell the passage of time, whether it be for the day, month, or year. I decided to build a web-based astronomical clock. The challenges of mechanics are not removed by using the web medium, they are simply changed to another form. The results, however, have great potential as a teaching tool. This project can grow in many directions, so come see what I have so far, and help me build a great (and free) teaching tool for everyone.
  • Archiving a Museum · Dale W. Smith, Bowling Green State University Planetarium, Bowling Green, OH
    Abstract: During the past year I have digitized the entire collection of the village museum in my boyhood hometown of Ames, New York. Steps included photography of physical items, scanning of paper items, organization of images into folders, optical character recognition of text, indexing of special collections, creating a table of contents, and storage of all on archival DVDs. I will describe this volunteer work and its results.
  • A Planetarium Job Description: A Powerful Tool for the Planetarian · Keith Turner, Carmel Clay Schools Planetarium, Carmel, IN
    Abstract: In the spring of 2013 I had an administrator ask what exactly do I do? I took advantage of this opportunity by supplying an updated job description with exactly what I do as part of planetarium operations and public outreach. The document is written exactly for my job description based on a job description Gregg Williams wrote in the 1980s. I updated this and included the modern changes that have happened recently. Do not assume anyone knows what you do. Do not assume anyone understands what you do. Be ready at a moment’s notice to give them your job description. Administrators, Deans, Department Chairs all should find this document helpful if you replace a Planetarium Director, build a new Planetarium, or update an existing facility.
  • Exploring Multi-Screen Video Production at the Ball State Planetarium · Dayna Thompson, Ball State University Planetarium, Muncie, IN
    Abstract: The Ball State University Planetarium currently houses a Spitz A3P projector in a 30-foot dome with an automated 5-screen digital projection system. Programs that were once played using slide projectors have been converted to play using digital projectors. This task was completed using multi-screen video production and playback software. This software has also contributed greatly in the production of live and pre-recorded planetarium programs.
  • Designing a Degree in Planetarium Studies · Nicholas Anderson, Bowling Green State University Planetarium, Bowling Green, OH
    Abstract: I will share my experiences creating an Individualized Planned Program at Bowling Green State University and explain why this was a better option for me than pursuing a traditional major.
  • The Benefits of Working in a Planetarium as a Student · Chris Karlic, Ward Beecher Planetarium, Youngstown, OH
    Abstract: During my two years at the Ward Beecher Planetarium, I have learned many things, including how my life has been changed.
  • Fundraising for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Planetarium · Robert Allen, Univ. of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI
    Abstract: A former student has agreed to give funds to our planetarium. We will undergo a drive to obtain matching funds.

Paper Session #3

Paper Session #3

  • Planetarium Mash-Up for Adult Swim event 2/25/13 · Deb Lawson, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis SpaceQuest Planetarium, Indianapolis, IN
    Abstract: In Feb. 2013, SpaceQuest planetarium was invited to participate in a first-ever “Adult Swim” at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This was an after-hours event geared to young adults – and NO kids! Social media was a huge part of this event and its success. To coordinate with the super-fun theme, an original 13-minute show was created called Planetarium Mash Up. Digistar 4 and DUG short clips, an original soundtrack and an original live script were combined. The content was part astronomy/science, part crazy fun visuals. It was such a hit that 2 extra shows were added when the 6 scheduled shows sold out early! Total show attendance for the evening was 708!! It was such a huge success for the museum that plans began for Adult Swim 2014 two weeks later. The concept is very translatable. Taking an unusual, unexpected idea and developing it could be modulated to other fund-raising museum, school or community events or other income or charity-driven needs. It would even be possible for a classical planetarium to participate, using still, all-sky and pan slides for the show visuals.
  • Sentinel: Spotting Asteroids Before They Find Us! · Daniel Tell, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA
    Abstract: Last year, Morrison Planetarium collaborated with the non-profit B612 Foundation, chaired by former astronaut Ed Lu, to produce a short full-dome segment announcing the foundation’s proposed Sentinel spacecraft. Sentinel is a privately-funded space telescope mission that aims to map over 90% of the hundreds of thousands of unknown Earth-crossing asteroids larger than 140 meters and many of the asteroids larger than 30 meters, giving us the knowledge we need to prevent the next Tunguska or K-T event. Following the Chelyabinsk impact in February, asteroid threats to Earth have been a hot topic again, so learn about how data were used to create this presentation, how B612 plans to find these asteroids, and how you can share it in your own planetarium for free.
  • Real-time Everywhere · Daniel Tell, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA
    Abstract: Although Morrison Planetarium has established itself as a producer of spectacular pre-rendered shows, such as Life a Cosmic Story and Earthquake: Evidence of a Restless Planet, the planetarium and other immersive venues throughout the California Academy of Sciences also make heavy use of real-time content. With the current capabilities of real-time planetarium software, this allows for the rapid development of high-quality, innovative, topical shows; the ability to include more members of the planetarium staff with a wide range of abilities in the production process; and the opportunity to collaborate with Academy researchers and external experts to deliver a wide variety of engaging content. See the range of science we present, learn how these shows are used as training opportunities for staff, allowing staff to engage more directly with visitors and collaborators, and find out just how much (and how little) work it can take to get these programs assembled.

Spitz Lecture

Spitz Lecture

Spitz lecturer Art Klinger has been a GLPA member and the director of the P-H-M DVT/Planetarium since 1980. For 3O-years, the 30' planetarium housed a Minolta Series II Star Projector along with a bevy of special effects projectors. In 2011, he oversaw a complete renovation of the facility, with a new dome and Digistar 4. In addition to running K-8 programs, he teaches two high school classes of Astronomy. For 17 years, he was an adjunct lecturer of both Solar and Stellar Astronomy at Indiana University South Bend. He authored a beginning astronomy text titled: "Mysteries of the Night Sky," which is used in his high school astronomy class.

Business Meeting

Business Meeting

Storytelling

Storytelling