GLPA Conference Proceedings: 2003

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

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Title Author Year Abstract
GOD UNDER THE DOME Br. Guy Consolmagno SJ 2003 Abstract: Presenting astronomy to the general public inevitably involves one in the ongoing discussion of science and religion; in particular, one is likely to encounter members of the public who fear that their strongly-held religious views are disrespected or attacked by modern science. To deal appropriately with such attitudes, it is important to know the history of the relationship between science and religion; to understand the source of anxiety among those in the public who are mistrustful of science; and to be aware of one's own attitudes towards religion and how these may unintentionally color the way we present our material. A brief survey of the history of astronomy shows that there is no inherent conflict, and much commonality, between science and religion. However, people unfamiliar with science often fear it as a substitute or threat to their beliefs, a fear that is compounded when science is presented in a way that does not respect its philosophical and religious roots. One successful strategy is to present astronomy within a religious context, even to the point of discussing one's own religious affiliation, in any event emphasizing the humility that comes with admitting that one's knowledge is ever incomplete.
HIGHER THAN EVEREST: AN ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO THE SOLAR SYSTEM Dr. Paul W. Hodge 2003 Abstract: The Solar System has many amazing landforms that are very different in ways from those of the Earth. Included are mountains that are higher than Everest and canyons that are wider and deeper than Arizona's Grand Canyon. This talk reviews some of these, describing their challenges as they might be faced by an adventurer (a mountain climber or some other danger-prone individual) who is looking for exciting exploration beyond our planet.
ASTRONOMY UPDATE 2003 Dr. James B. Kaler 2003 Abstract: As always, the year was marked by dramatic gains and losses, the worst of which was that of our Shuttle Crew. Beyond that, our astronomers explained solar faculae, got more information on Martian water, and reversed our ideas about Jupiter's cloud belts. We saw some magnificent imagery from our telescopes, watched a non-lethal meteorite strike, and witnessed more records regarding brown dwarfs and planets, whose properties and limits are no more understood than dark matter or the dark energy that is making our Universe's expansion accelerate.
EINSTEIN'S BIGGEST BLUNDER Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss 2003 Abstract: The discovery and role of dark energy in the Universe. Studies of distant supernovae reveal that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating. This acceleration may be driven by so-called dark energy, the energy of empty space, which produces a repulsive force presaged by the cosmological constant Einstein added to his equation of general relativity. COBE measurements show that space is flat, but dark energy means the expansion of the Universe is independent of its geometry.
FOOTSTEPS TO WINGS TO SPACEFARING: 2003 ARMAND N. SPITZ LECTURE Rob Landis 2003 Abstract: For those of us inspired by the sky, exploration, and flight, the year 2003 had been eagerly awaited as it marks a number of milestones: the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition into the Louisiana Territory (to the Pacific coast) to the centennial of powered flight when the fledgling Wright Flyer took to the sky at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. However, the year was punctuated on a note of sudden and profound loss. On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia (STS-107) and her crew were lost-serving as a stark reminder that our tomorrows are not promised to us. Through the tragedies and the triumphs, planetaria continue to be cathedrals of inspiration communicating directly with the public on a variety of topics: historical, astronomical, as well as the space flight realm.
GIRL SCOUTS IN THE PLANETARIUM: A PLANNING GUIDE Sue Batson 2003 Abstract: One way to enhance your planetarium attendance is by providing activities and shows that fit into advancement programs of youth organizations such as the Girl Scouts of the USA; however, program requirements for girls in different age groups vary widely. In this paper, I will share these requirements and discuss some ways you can help Girl Scouts satisfy requirements in all levels of their program.
IMAGINE THE UNIVERSE: A NEW POSTER AND EDUCATIONAL BOOKLET Jeanne E. Bishop 2003 Abstract: In August, 2002, I participated in a week-long workshop at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, which culminated in the publication of a poster and booklet of activities. The materials provide ways for students in middle and high school to learn of the astronomical origins of the elements.
VOLCANO IN THE SKY: THE STORY OF ETA CARINAE Robert J. Bonadurer 2003 Abstract: A short "astromentary" featuring the mammoth, unstable star Eta Carinae was recently produced by the Minnesota Planetarium. This 12-minute film entitled "Volcano in the Sky" is available from the Minnesota Planetarium for duplication costs of $10.00. It is ideal for a short planetarium show, classroom instruction, or museum video display. This film was funded by an Education/Public Outreach (E/PO) grant from the Space Science Telescope Institute.
WHO DO YOU WANT TO RUN YOUR MOBILE DOME? Susan Reynolds Button 2003 Abstract: Each year new mobile planetarium programs are established and people are being hired to run these programs. Many times questions arise about the job qualifications an individual should possess in order to successfully implement a portable planetarium program. One must first examine the kind of program that is desired and then develop a detailed job description. The next step is to find the "best fit" candidate to fill the position and then provide training that will enhance your new employee's existing skills.
STARS SHINE THROUGH COUNTY BUDGET CRISIS: SURVIVAL OF THE STRASENBURGH PLANETARIUM Steve Fentress 2003 Abstract: Astronomy education remains strong at Strasenburgh, even though we were hit hard in last year's County budget. Lessons will be drawn that might apply to other institutions.
EDMUND HALLEY AND THE TRIPPENSEE PLANETARIUM David W. Hurd 2003 Abstract: While gathering information regarding the upcoming Venus Transit of 2004, I was intrigued by the periods at which these transits occur. This led me to dabble with the Trippensee Planetarium originally made in Saginaw, Michigan. In this paper, I will share with you my discovery about the orbits of Venus and Earth around the Sun.
MARS STUDENT IMAGING PROJECT 2002 Joshua Hutchins & Keith Turner 2003 Abstract: NASA and Arizona State University's Mars Education Program is offering students nationwide the opportunity to be involved in authentic Mars research.
HOW TO SURVIVE WITHOUT SLIDE PROJECTORS Ronald Kaitchuck 2003 Abstract: Planetarium technology is changing at a rapid pace. We can react by trying to ignore these changes or we can adopt the best the new technologies have to offer. Our plan at Ball State University is to use video screens on the dome to replace the traditional left-middle-right slide projector screens. In this way our programs will primarily use video projection rather than slide projection. The downside to making this transition includes the learning curve and the costs of new hardware. I will argue that the gains are worth the time investments and the costs. This change offers the possibility of expanded creativity and the production of more visually interesting programs.
CONNECTING UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS & PLANETARIA VIA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Randall H. Landsberg 2003 Abstract: Can academic researchers and planetarium staff successfully work together? The Center for Cosmological Physics recently hosted a 3-day short course on cosmology for planetarium staff. This paper summarizes the outcomes of the course and explores whether or not this course is a good model for connecting informal education and current research science.
THE TELLING TAKES US HOME Gary Lazich 2003 Abstract: As we seek to "immerse" audiences in full-dome imagery (the "show"), we must also "engage" them with compelling stories (the "tell"). This presentation will illustrate how stories can serve as "springboards" and how we can serve as reporters, tellers, and mediators.
GARFIELD BIRTHDAY BASH Peggy Motes 2003 Abstract: Using the planetarium program Garfield: A Cat For All Seasons during a community celebration of the fat cat's birthday.
WHAT'S NEW AT THE SCHOUWEILER!? Alan V. Pareis 2003 Abstract: Our 1970 vintage A4, 75 seat University Planetarium is becoming a "late 1990s state-of-the-art planetarium." Learn how we upgraded our technology, programming, and service to the campus and greater Fort Wayne community.
FROM KITT PEAK TO THE CLASSROOM: THE TLRBSE PROGRAM Gary E. Sampson 2003 Abstract: The TLRBSE Program involves classroom teachers in original astronomy research at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. As a TLRBSE participant, I spent five days at Kitt Peak and will use the data obtained there with my high school independent astronomy students in doing original research on novae in the Andromeda Galaxy and active galactic nuclei.
THE PARK FOREST, ILLINOIS METEOR OF 2003 Brock Schroeder 2003 Abstract: On March 27 (UT), a meteor exploded above Park Forest, Illinois. In this paper, you will hear about the acquisition of incredible audio and video footage of this event. These files are currently being analyzed for use in the publication of a scientific paper that provides the details of this meteor's break up in Earth's atmosphere.
TEACHER GUIDES FOR YOUR PLANETARIUM SCHOOL SHOWS - MAKE YOUR SHOWS PART OF THE CURRICULA John Schroer 2003 Abstract: The production of teacher guides for each of the shows presented for school groups is an effective method of making a field trip to the planetarium a part of the curriculum for these classes. In addition, these guides give teachers useful information to support field trips in these times of budgetary problems among our school systems. This is a brief synopsis of the genesis of these guides and how they were created.
LANETARIUM PRODUCTION DATABASE OR GETTING ALL THIS STUFF ORGANIZED! Todd K. Slisher 2003 Abstract: This paper describes how to use and get the most out of a free show production Access database distributed at the GLPA 2003 meeting. The database allows the user to enter all the various visuals associated with a show and how they should be manipulated to put them in show ready form. Furthermore the database can print various reports for staff members working on the show and can be user customized to each person's theater.
ASTRONOMICAL FLAGS Dale W. Smith 2003 Abstract: Many flags fly astronomical symbols. The rising Sun, the setting Sun, Sun disks and images, and the crescent Moon are all common. The Big Dipper appears on Alaska's flag and several Southern Hemisphere flags show the Southern Cross. Flags of Canadian arctic cities feature a variety of suns and aurorae. Brazil's flag is a sky map of southern constellations! These flags inspired a planetarium show Star-Spangled Banners that I wrote last year.
EINSTEIN'S GOD James S. Sweitzer 2003 Abstract: "... the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility." (A. Einstein) During the last half of his life Albert Einstein was often quoted about God, sometimes stirring up controversy. As the 100th anniversary of his Miraculous Year (1905) approaches, it's important to understand this important aspect of his thought. The talk will introduce his concept of God both as a window into his world view and as a case study in the emotional reaction of this 20th Century sage to the cosmos his theories inspired.
USE & CONSTRUCTION OF A MODEL TO EXPLAIN SEASONS, MOON PHASES, DAY & NIGHT, AND A HOST OF OTHER CONCEPTS Gary Tomlinson 2003 Abstract: This fairly easy to construct model will provide the classroom teacher and planetarian alike a useful resource for years to come.
SRI LANKAN ASTRONOMY Nathan Walters 2003 Abstract: I went to Sri Lanka for two weeks over the summer of 2003 in connection with the proposed conference, "Sri Lankan Skies & Sir Arthur 2003." (Unfortunately, the conference was postponed due to SARS fears.) In accordance with the theme of the conference, "To Propagate Astronomy Education in Developing Countries," I toured Sri Lanka speaking to school children about astronomy, specifically Mars. The children were bright, enthusiastic, and very eager to learn. I found astronomy to be a common interest and goal between Sri Lankans and Americans. I also came to appreciate more what astronomy education equipment we have in the US, where we may take star projectors and well-equipped domes for granted.
PROMOTING ASTRONOMY ON NON-ASTRONOMICAL WEBSITES Elizabeth S. Wasiluk 2003 Abstract: I have found that an open Community Forum on a science fiction literature website is a good place to reach people about astronomy.
THE POSTCARD LAB Elizabeth S. Wasiluk 2003 Abstract: Use the planetarium to do an imaginary trip around the world and have your participants write postcards home.
WINGED MESSENGER TO MERCURY April Whitt 2003 Abstract: When the MESSENGER spacecraft arrives at Mercury in 2009, it will send back the first new images of the planet in over 30 years. This session details teacher information and materials you can use to prepare your students for this exciting rendezvous.
USING THE GLPA MUSIC TIPS BOOKLET Gene Zajac & Gary Tomlinson 2003 Abstract: The New GLPA Tips Booklet lists over 1500 selections of music to enhance your planetarium show/teaching.
THE WRIGHT WAY TO FLY Cheri Adams 2003 Abstract: The Wright Way to Fly is a free planetarium program. In celebration of the centennial of flight and as an Education Partner of the Inventing Flight Dayton 2003, we are sharing the science behind flight. The focus of the show is the story of the Wright Brothers, their initial interest, and the ensuing methodical efforts that allowed them to become the first to fly a heavier than air machine.
STARRY INSPIRATION FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL CREATIVE WRITING CLASS Sue Batson 2003 Abstract: Sometimes, in an attempt to teach astronomy to our visitors, we forget how relaxing and awe-inspiring the planetarium setting can be. This creative writing activity utilizes the unique planetarium environment with little emphasis on the hard facts of science. Students are reminded of the science they have learned over the years, and get a chance to see science as beautiful and inspirational. Student poems are included for your reading pleasure.
PLATO (Planetarium Learning and Teaching Opportunities) Bernhard Beck-Winchatz & Jim Sweitzer 2003 Abstract: PLATO grants are funded by NASA's Office of Space Science through its DePaul broker/facilitator program and are intended to enhance planetarium-based space science education at GLPA member institutions.
SETTING UP A "FRIENDS" OF THE PLANETARIUM FUND-RAISING ORGANIZATION David DeRemer 2003 Abstract: This poster display describes the necessity of fund-raising to help save our small school district planetarium. One of our most successful and fulfilling techniques was to form a "Friends of the Planetarium" organization. The steps we used and the results over the past three years are highlighted.
"MARS PROBE IMAGE SCREEN" FOR GRADES 4-7 Steve Fentress 2003 Abstract: Using pencil and paper, students convert strips of 1s and 0s into a crude image, then interpret it. The ensuing discussions introduce fundamentals and tradeoffs of digital imaging, especially in the context of space missions.
ASTRONOMY IN THE NEW OHIO ACADEMIC STANDARDS Doris Forror 2003 Abstract: By providing conferees with line items of Ohio Standards they can compare to their own state. Is it past time for proaction? Can we use GLPA power to affect change?
MODERN REPLICAS OF WILLIAM HERSCHEL'S 7-FOOT TELESCOPE Kelly Jons & Gene Zajac 2003 Abstract: Starting with a pile of mahogany boards, two 4-1/4" mirror kits, and some assorted hardware, we have constructed a pair of 2/3-scale working replicas of William Herschel's famous "7-foot"telescope that he used to discover Uranus in the year 1781.
SPACE BUS: TRANSFORMING A SCHOOL BUS INTO A MOBILE SPACE STATION Joe Marencik & Gene Zajac 2003 Abstract: We spent a summer gutting and rebuilding a yellow school bus. The bus is now equipped with science bays to simulate a space station on a planet. The bus is part of a summer camp program in Shaker Heights.
USING THE PRECISION PLANET AND STAR LOCATOR AS A TEACHING TOOL Frank A. Revetta 2003 Abstract: The Precision Planet and Star Locator may be used for more than locating stars and planets. It is a useful tool for teaching and developing an understanding of celestial coordinates and motions in the heavens. It also has many useful applications such as times of sunrise and sunset, altitude of the Sun, and hour angle of stars and Sun.
WHERE DO I LIVE? A SHOW ABOUT OUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE Eric Schreur 2003 Abstract: A brief description of how the Kalamazoo Valley Museum upgraded an existing program using the PLATO grant.
A TABLE-TOP MODEL OF THE EARTH, SUN, & MOON Gary E. Tomlinson 2003 Abstract: Using this simple model will help students comprehend the reasons behind seasons and so much more.
AURORAL REFLECTIONS April Whitt 2003 Abstract: A PLATO grant allowed Fernbank Science Center and a local fiber artist to present art and science programs this summer. This is a summary of the event, auroras and all.
PORTABLES WORKSHOP: "HOW ON EARTH DID THEY FIND OUT THAT?" Jeanne E. Bishop 2003 Abstract: Until fairly recently humans have not understood the true nature of the Earth's space motions. But long before telescopes were invented, people were laying the foundations of astronomy and scientific observation by watching the sky. In this STARLAB program, you will take the role of clever observer from the past. Discover how directions were found, how the length of the year was determined, how the sun's yearly path through the Zodiac was realized (since the Sun and stars are not visible together), and how cultures became aware that the position of the Sun against stars was changing within the seasonal year (precessional effect). These demonstrations can be adapted for a school or a public program.
TRANSIT OF A VENUS WORKSHOP: HOW TO MAKE A "MUST SEE TV" SCREEN Chuck Bueter & Gene Zajac 2003 Abstract: On June 8, 2004, Venus will transit the Sun-a phenomenon so rare it has not been witnessed by any human now alive. We present an inexpensive device with which a group of people can safely witness a magnified view of the transit of Venus. Observers can also use the rear-projection device to track sunspots without risk of eye injury. See for instructions and supporting images.
WITNESSING THE SHAKER PLANETARIUM REMODELING PROJECT Gene Zajac 2003 Abstract: The night at Shaker involved teaching with the new equipment. All the vendors involved in the effort were present and demonstrated their expertise. The evening was capped off with fine food and entertainment.