GLPA Conference Proceedings: 1998

Proceedings Editor:  Dale W. Smith, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.

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Title Author Year Abstract
VIEWING THE CELESTIAL SPHERE FROM INSIDE AND OUTSIDE Allen, Robert 1998 Abstract: A planetarium is a model of the celestial sphere which is viewed from inside. A star globe is a model of it viewed from outside. Both can be used to help students orient themselves in the real sky. In addition to these two models, there are many versions of planetarium-type software now available. These can also be used to help teach basic orientation.
USING DISCOVERY LESSONS IN THE PLANETARIUM Anderson, Dori 1998 Abstract: Discovery is an inquiry-based style of teaching that places responsibility on the student for understanding the material presented. The teacher is a guide in questioning the students at set intervals during the lesson to make sure that they understand the material presented. We present a sample lesson of astronomy to illustrate this style of teaching.
SKY LORE AND CELESTIAL NAVIGATION IN THE SOUTH SEAS: A STARLAB Workshop Bishop, Jeanne 1998 Abstract: Polynesians moved outward in double-hulled canoes from Samoa, starting in about 1500 B.C., to colonize the islands of the South Pacific. The Polynesians eventually reached such distant points as Hawaii, Easter Island, and New Zealand. Methods of navigation used by these excellent sailors, including hand methods to measure azimuths and altitudes and successions of stars rising at the same azimuth, will be discussed in this hour workshop.
AN ECLIPSE TO REMEMBER Bonadurer, Robert 1998 Abstract: Pictures of total solar eclipses are breathtaking and wonderful. But while a picture is worth a thousand words, it sometimes falls short in communicating a specific event. This paper uses personal narrative in an attempt to portray the awesome emotion and magic felt during a total eclipse of the Sun. Nature writer Annie Dillard and her eclipse story in "Teaching A Stone to Talk" inspired me to write the following narrative.
HOW IMPORTANT IS A FIRST IMPRESSION? Brace, Aaron 1998 Abstract: I will illustrate how we have found a characteristically signature introduction effects the attitudes and behavior of audiences during a planetarium program. This report is based on data obtained from incorporating a signature introduction to the regularly scheduled planetarium programs at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. During the presentation, I will be demonstrating components of our techniques utilized for a more effective introduction in a planetarium environment.
MAKING A PAPER PLATE PLANET PROJECTOR FOR PORTABLE PLANETARIUMS (P6) Bueter, Chuck 1998 Abstract: In this activity, portable planetarium users make an inexpensive, hand-held device that transfers the two-dimensional drawing of the planets in orbit around the sun to a projection of solar system objects in the planetarium sky.
MAKING A PAPER PLATE RAINBOW FINDER Bueter, Chuck 1998 Abstract: In this activity, rainbow seekers make an inexpensive device which illustrates that the primary rainbow is seen about 42 degrees up from the antisolar point, or up about four fists stacked above the top of the shadow of the viewer's head.
MAKING A BOLIDE METEOR PROJECTOR DeRemer, David 1998 Abstract: The Bolide Meteor projector can be easy to assemble and is a nice addition to our planetarium. Nothing surprises the audience like a quick streak across the sky. Once light adapted, we flash the meteor overhead and the visitors usually point and gasp. This workshop allows participants to build and take home their own bolide meteor projector.
MAKING A MOVING CLOUD PROJECTOR DeRemer, David 1998 Abstract: The moving cloud effect is useful in a variety of situations. As you fade into darkness, it adds realism to your sky and shows the audience that skywatching can be very dependent on the weather. The cloud effect can be used with a red light bulb to show the atmosphere over a Venus pan, ro to fill the sky with floating gas after an explosion. This workshop will allow participants to build their own moving cloud projector.
MARS TODAY: A "SNAPSHOT" OF NEW MARS EXPLORATION IN THE CENTENNIAL YEAR OF WAR OF THE WORLDS Edgett, Dr. Ken 1998 Abstract: Exploration is a human activity. The year 1998 marks the centennial of the famous H. G. Wells Martian invasion novel War of the Worlds. The years 1997-1998 have seen renewed efforts to explore Mars with robotic spacecraft: Mars Pathfinder, Sojourner, and Mars Global Surveyor. New launches are in the works for late 1998, early 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005. As in 1898, today we project onto Mars many of our human hopes, fears, and dreams. We personify our Sojourner rover, and we see new high resolution images of sand dune features as "bushes" and "caterpillars". Mars Global Surveyor's camera can see objects the size of an automobile. New wonders have been found, even though the "official" mission doesn't begin until March 1999. Among the new discoveries are vast regions of thick, layered rock; huge, platey lava flows that rival the North American Great Lakes in extent; and evidence for sand dune activity as recent as July and August 1998. The picture emerging from Mars today is that of a world more complex than the one we had come to know in the 22 years since the Viking landings of 1976.
IC ITUR AD ASTRA (FOR SUCH IS THE WAY TO THE STARS) 1998 ARMAND N. SPITZ LECTURE Ernst, Bob 1998 Abstract: A concise summary of the qualities and traits that comprise a good planetarian and teacher and an overview of the challenging pathways that have been created and left behind for all of us to follow and emulate.
DID COPERNICUS INVENT THE BUTTERING OF BREAD? Grossenbacher, Roger 1998 Abstract: The little known "fact" that Copernicus invented bread-buttering was put forth in a 1970 article in JAMA. This article is regarded by Owen Gingerich as a spoof. A careful reading of the article should raise suspicion even in the mind of planetarians who are neither Polish nor historians.
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION FOR THE GLPA COMMUNITY Hunt, Jeffrey Ed.D 1998 Abstract: Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204 hosts a listserv that is available for the greater GLPA community to use to communicate with planetarians in the region. This paper describes the operation of the listserv and instructions for subscribing.
TEACHING THE ROCK CYCLE WITH A STARLAB James, Wayne 1998 Abstract: Stars make stuff!! Ka Boom!! They blow up and scatter the stuff all over. We are made of some of that stuff. The whole Earth is made of some of that stuff and it all gets re-cycled. This workshop is about combining Earth Science with Astronomy using Starlab.
LPD4 SLIDE MASKS REVISITED Kaitchuck, Ronald 1998 Abstract: There is reluctance among some planetarians to try slide masking with LPD4 film. This may come from the impression that it is difficult, time-consuming, or costly. Also, this film is known to have a problem dealing with reds appearing in the original slide. I have found all these concerns to be minor and encourage others to try this technique.
ASTRONOMY UPDATE 1998 Kaler, Dr. James 1998 Abstract: The best news is that we will not be destroyed soon by an asteroid. Beyond that, we reveled in ice on the Moon, water on Mars, Galileo discoveries, bodies outside the orbit of Neptune, and newly-found planets orbiting other stars. We saw the creation of a lovely gallery of planetary nebulae by Hubble, a possible explanation of gamma ray bursts, and viewed farther into the Universe with more understanding, resulting in a feeling that we are beginning to understand some of its structure.
THE REAL RUSSIAN STUFF Landis, Rob 1998 Abstract: Without a doubt the Soviet space program was one of the most impressive and mysterious legacies of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The launch of Sputnik shocked the world into the Space Age. Sputnik 1 and the rapid-fire string of Soviet space spectaculars galvanized the United States into the space race. Today, Cold War rivals have become international compatriots out of political and economic necessity. This presentation takes a glimpse at the history of the former Soviet space program from Sputnik to space station Mir with a look to the International Space Station and beyond.
A CAMPUS SOLAR SYSTEM MODEL Leake, David 1998 Abstract: The Staerkel Planetarium has recently worked with the local school system to create a scale model solar system on the Parkland College campus. A short slide presentation will detail how the model was created and how it is used in a fourth grade unit.
IT'S DARK IN HERE! AUXILIARY LIGHTING FOR STARLAB McCall, Kris 1998 Abstract: A simple, compact, and effective general lighting system for providing subdued floor illumination or brighter full dome coverage in a portable planetarium will be demonstrated. Schematics will be provided.
LEGENDARY LEONIDS: SHOWER OR STORM? McCully, Waylena 1998 Abstract: The Leonid Meteor Shower has a rich history of surprises and disappointments. Will the lion roar in '98? No one can say for sure, but it should be a lot of fun finding out.
PROJECT STARSHINE Motes, Peggy 1998 Abstract: Elementary and secondary students in six schools polished mirrors for the STARSHINE satellite. The satellite will fly with 877 mirrors mounted on a spun aluminum shell polished by students from 18 countries. Sign up to receive information and a free copy of the Satellite Tool Kit CD-ROM from Analytical Graphics that students may use to track the STARSHINE satellite and work on collaborative projects using the internet.
THE STUFF OF THE UNIVERSE Mufson, Dr. Stuart 1998 Abstract: In this talk I discuss perhaps the most outstanding problem in astrophysics today-the composition and abundance of the Dark Matter component of the Universe. I discuss why this is such an important problem, and how the answers continue to elude us. At the end, I describe some current experiments that may shed light on these issues in the near future.
MOVERS, SHAKERS, AND RISK TAKERS: An Earth Science lesson in locating plate boundaries Nissen, Barbara 1998 Abstract: This is a middle or high school Earth science lesson conducted in a portable planetarium. A projection of Earth's outer crust displays the location of tectonic plate boundaries. Students identify populated areas at high risk of volcanic and earthquake activity. The lesson can be teamed with geography, social studies, environmental science, or health science classes.
MOON GARDEN Platt, Amera 1998 Abstract: Directions for planting a moon garden are presented.
SNAPSHOTS FROM A K-12 PLANETARIA SURVEY Reed, Mark 1998 Abstract: This discussion will share some of the findings from a K-12 Planetaria survey conducted in the Great Lakes Area that were used in a research paper which explored how K-12 facilities are being utilized.
IPS PORTABLE PLANETARIUM COMMITTEE REPORT 1998 Reynolds, Susan 1998 Abstract: What has the Committee been doing over the last year? What's new on the portable planetarium market? How can you apply for a chance to teach in Italy ? How can you help network portable planetarium users around the world ? The answers to these questions and more information about this extremely active committee will be shared in this paper.
MYTHOLOGY WITH A NEW TWIST Reynolds, Susan 1998 Abstract: People seem to crave rituals in their lives as a form of relaxation and comfort, to maintain a sense of belonging, to validate their identity and to examine their place in the universe. We know that people of all ages respond very positively to hearing and learning about myths of ancient cultures. Another way of involving the audience in a visceral or affective way, while utilizing "minds-on" and even "hands-on" techniques, is to use mythology as the content material and develop a ritual around it.
A RENOVATION FOR THE NEXT 30 YEARS Schroeder, Brock 1998 Abstract: The summer of 1998 was the time set aside to do a major upgrade of the Spitz A4 RPY, as well as structural changes to Strickler Planetarium.
DIGITAL IMAGE PRODUCTION Schroer, John IV 1998 Abstract: Making your own slides for images or titles is an essential part of show production. But for many planetarians it is not fun. Camera stands limit you to printed media for source material. Want to use the latest images from the internet? Have a great image on a slide already, but it's damaged, or it's too faint, incorrect color balance, or too dark? Well you can repair or restore it as well. Thanks to advances in scanner, film recorders, and more powerful computers, digital production expands your ability to use or repair images from many sources. Edits and repairs can then be printed onto slide film either by a service bureau or your facility with a film recorder.
PLANETARIUM SOUND TRACK BY COMPUTER Schroer, John IV 1998 Abstract: Soundtrack production for most of our profession's history has been done with audio tape dubbing, cutting, and pasting. This painstaking and time consuming chore can be made into a fun and creative process by moving all of the required elements into a computer. Save time, money, and your sanity by producing a soundtrack as you would type a paper. New software lets you cut, copy, paste, and reorganize the narration, sound effects, and background music as you see fit.
CHASING GALILEO Senson, Benjamin 1998 Abstract: In the early 1600's Galileo Galilei changed the face of astronomy forever by applying a carnival curiosity to the study of the heavens. This curiosity, the telescope, allowed astronomers to witness celestial phenomena in exquisite detail. Today's students (K-12 in particular) are yet to catch up with his ancient methods. The purpose of the MMSD Observatory is to provide a solution to this dilemma.
DOMES AND STANDING STONES: ASTRONOMICAL SITES IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND Smith, Dale 1998 Abstract: Britain and Ireland are filled with a wealth of historic observatories and neolithic standing stones. This paper will be an illustrated tour of the variety of sites I visited during and after the IPS London conference.
TO GIZZY OR NOT TO GIZZY: THAT IS THE QUESTION Tomlinson, Gary 1998 Abstract: A special effect that turns a normal slide projector into a versatile motion effect will be detailed and demonstrated along with plans on how to build.
RAIN, RAIN, DON'T GO AWAY! Tomlinson, Gary 1998 Abstract: This paper will demonstrate how to use and make a rain projector special effect.
PARTIAL RENOVATION OF MHS PLANETARIUM Turner, Keith 1998 Abstract: Adaptation of MHS Planetarium to meet curriculum needs in a dark adapted room: a work in progress.
SUPER MASSIVE-SUPER GIANT LIGHT TABLES Turner, Keith 1998 Abstract: The construction of a large light table provides a show producer the capability of arranging an entire show within sight.
STONEHENGE: A DRUID'S GUIDE TO CONSTRUCTION Wallace, James II 1998 Abstract: As a means of enticing children into exploring unique facets of archaeology, a set of large, 1/3 scale replica foam blocks have been constructed with the goal in mind of allowing for hands-on learning, which has been proven to be an effective means of education. By utilizing rollers, ramps, ropes, levers and teamwork, these blocks allow for the instructor to focus on multiple topics, such as physics, archaeology, religion, history, culture, and cooperative problem-solving. To date, these have been exceeded expectations in achieving the goals initially envisioned when first constructed.
SPACE STATION FERNBANK Whitt, April 1998 Abstract: During the summer of 1998, instructors at Fernbank Science Center piloted a summer space institute for sixth and seventh graders. Activities, field trips, and partnerships with NASA are described in this presentation.
STARS THAT NEVER SET An Interactive Planetarium Program Whitt, April 1998 Abstract: Fernbank's spring program for families focused on multiple learning styles. The Signing Choir from Briarlake Elementary School sang and signed on video for the the planetarium program.
SUN AND STARS AND YERKES OBSERVATORY Whitt, April 1998 Abstract: The Yerkes Summer Institute for the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (CARA) brought Chicago high school students to Wisconsin for labs from spectroscopy to statistics. Here are their some of their lessons and projects.
THE PROBLEM WITH WESS SLIDE MOUNTS Williams, Gregg 1998 Abstract: Many of us in the planetarium business are familiar with slide mounts made by Wess Plastics. During this paper, I am going to explain what makes Wess mounts a useful product for planetariums. I'll describe some of the variety of apertures available. And, I'll describe a significant problem with Wess mounts and suggest a partial solution that GLPA members could implement cooperatively.
ANCIENT OBSERVING SITES Zajac, Gene 1998 Abstract: The purpose of this lesson is to present a method of informing students how to create their own astronomically correct observing site. Ancient real sites are examined first. Students learn that the altitude of the sun varies by 47 degrees on the meridian, the sun moves along the horizon, the altitude of the NCP is constant, star rising and setting azimuths can be observed at sunrise and sunset to determine the seasons or other dates. The term helical rising is presented.
GALILEO'S NOTEBOOK Zajac, Gene 1998 Abstract: This group of activities uses the research of Galileo to teach concepts of the heliocentric universe. Sunspots, inclined plane, retrograde motion, and the orbits of Jupiter's moons were used in a high school astronomy class.
SPACE STATION SIMULATION CAMP Zajac, Gene 1998 Abstract: This project converted an ordinary school bus into a space station complete with activity bays. Five computers, glove box, medical bay, and a weather station are the major components. The bus is used with a summer space camp for high school and fifth grade students.