GLPA Conference Proceedings: 2011

GLPA Members:  You can download these Proceedings using the following link. Note that you must be logged in to download the PDF file.

2011 Proceedings PDF:
 
2011 Supplemental Materials:
 
Non-members:  You can order a PDF of this Proceeding ($3) or the entire Proceedings CD ($4) through the online store. They can also be purchased through the mail using the order form.

 

Invited Talks

 

REFLECTIONS ON THE PLANETARIUM PROFESSION

2011 Armand Spitz Lecture

 

Lee Ann A. Hennig

IPS Executive Secretary
Thomas Jefferson High School
6560 Braddock Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22312
lahennig@earthlink.net


Abstract: Each of us travels a path into the planetarium field. Some of them are rough and littered with obstacles, many are simple and well defined, and a few are meandering, but they all lead us back to the domes. Our means of communicating with our audiences is also a journey and our experiences are influenced by our colleagues in the field. Where have we been, how have we grown, and where are we going? I offer a few glimpses from my perspective on the answers to these questions.

 

 

ASTRONOMY UPDATE 2011

 

Dr. Ronald Kaitchuck

Ball State University Planetarium

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana  47306

rkaitchu@bsu.edu

 

Abstract: This year there was the surprising prediction that the sunspot cycle may soon end. There were many discoveries like the Earth’s own asteroid, water flowing on Mars, Pluto’s 4th moon, liquid water in comets, a star that shouldn’t exist, a star cooler than you, a flickering Crab Nebula, a 50,000 light-year wide gamma-ray bubble, free-floating planets, a new type of supernova, the most distant galaxy, and the most distant quasar. There were many cases where our understanding was improved, such as a better explanation for Mercury’s large core, the Moon’s asymmetry, the equatorial mountains of Iapetus, the origin of the rings of Saturn, a better picture of the Milky Way’s arms and the origin of the first stars. There was also the unexpected, a storm on Saturn, two nearby supernovae, the claim of faster-than-light neutrinos and exoplanets with the densities of cannon balls and diamonds. There were also things to celebrate such as Opportunity Rover reaching Endeavor crater, orbital views of Vesta, a reduced risk from near-Earth-asteroids and the Noble Prize in physics going to astronomy.

 

 

COSMIC MYSTERIES


Jim Kaler
Astronomy Department
University of Illinois
103 Astronomy Building
1002 West Green Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801
jkaler@illinois.edu


Abstract: We explore themes of the unknown, both solved and unsolved, to see how one leads to another and to a continuing path toward discovery—and to more mysteries. We begin with the grand concepts of the Universe itself, with galaxies and how studies of what they are and of how the vast collection of them supports itself against gravity led to the discovery of dark matter and dark energy, neither of which we understand. We then go on to quasars and black holes, neutrino problems, star formation, brown dwarfs, other planets and life elsewhere, and various difficulties of stellar evolution, whereupon we end with yet more mysteries.

 

Contributed Papers

 

EMBODYING THE UNIVERSE:
SUPPORTING DOME IMMERSION WITH EMBODIMENT TECHNIQUES


Julieta Aguilera
Adler Planetarium
Planetary Collegium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605
jaguilera@adlerplanetarium.org


Abstract: The purpose of this presentation is to consider how gesture and tracking devices are permeating the collective experience of immersive environments such as planetarium domes. New research suggests that the inclusion of body motion for the facilitator or the public can help with focus and integration of abstract concepts by supporting them through embodiment techniques.

 

 

USING SPACE TELESCOPE EDUCATION PROGRAM RESOURCES


Lucy Albert
Carolyn Slivinski
Space Telescope Science Institute
3700 San Martin Dr.
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
lalbert@stsci.edu
slivinski@stsci.edu


Abstract: The Space Telescope Science Institute is the home of public outreach activities for the Hubble Space Telescope. Two websites, Amazing Space and HubbleSource, work together to provide the framework for the Space Telescope Education Program, which provides standards-based education tools for formal and informal educators.

 

 

REFURBISHING AND RELOCATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN - LA CROSSE SUNDIAL


Robert Allen
University of Wisconsin – La Crosse Planetarium
Physics Department, Cowley Hall
University of Wisconsin
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
allen.robe@uwlax.edu


Abstract: In 2005, our campus sundial was damaged by a drunk driver around 2 a.m.! This led to the sundial being refurbished, modified, and relocated (at the expense of the driver’s insurance company).

 

 

PLANETARIUM AND ASTRONOMY MOMENTS IN NIZHNY NOVGOROD AND MOSCOW: JULY 2011


Jeanne E. Bishop
Westlake Schools Planetarium
24525 Hilliard Road
Westlake, Ohio 44145
jeanneebishop@wowway.com


Abstract: As GLPA’s IPS Representative, I participated in the July 1-3 Council meeting this past summer. We joined our meeting with the meeting of the Russian Planetarium Society, meeting in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod. A post-Council trip was arranged to visit Star City, where cosmonauts train, and the newly-renovated Moscow Planetarium. I will share photographs and some information about the planetariums and other space and astronomy experiences in this trip, including the special planetarium where Yuri Gagarin received his constellation training.

 

 

THE (MC)2 SCIENCE COLLABORATIVE AND OHIO STANDARDS-BASED PLANETARIUM PROGRAMS AT THE ANDERSON HANCOCK PLANETARIUM


Ann Bragg
Anderson Hancock Planetarium
Marietta College
215 Fifth Street
Marietta, Ohio 45750
ann.bragg@marietta.edu


Abstract: For the past two years, I have been involved in a collaboration between Marietta College and Marietta City Schools. The goal of the collaboration is to provide opportunities for all K-5 classes within the district to visit campus and/or receive a visit from a College faculty member in order to engage in activities aligned with Ohio’s Earth & Space Science Indicators, part of Ohio’s Academic Content Standards. I will discuss the work of the collaboration to date, efforts to expand the program into other areas of science, and plans to address the revised Ohio Academic Content Standards.

 

 

IPS PORTABLE PLANETARIUM COMMITTEE


Susan Reynolds Button
Quarks to Clusters
8793 Horseshoe Lane
Chittenango, New York 13037
sbuttonq2c@twcny.rr.com
sbuttonq2c@gmail.com (for big files and photos)


Abstract: What is going on with portables in 2011? Lots of changes have occurred recently and the International Planetarium Society (IPS) Portable Planetarium Committee is a good resource.

 

 
USING ACTIVE LEARNING TECHNIQUES IN THE PLANETARIUM

Lee Carkner
John Deere Planetarium
Augustana College
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201-2296
leecarkner@augustana.edu

Abstract: Active Learning techniques have proven to be effective in the science classroom. Having students work on problems in groups, discuss class concepts, answer questions and do hands-on experiments for themselves results in a greater sense of ownership of the material. Hands-on learning, however, can be difficult to implement in planetarium shows. Planetariums are designed to impart information to a passive audience that is literally in the dark. A new show at the John Deere Planetarium at Augustana College called “Planet Prospector” has been designed to increase active engagement of elementary school students using props, items to pass around, and audience participation. The challenges and benefits of the new program will be discussed.
 
 
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY REACHES FOR THE STARS

Jean Creighton
Sandra Toro Martell
UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium
Physics Department
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211
jean@gravity.phys.uwm.edu

Abstract: Our collaboration between an astronomer/planetarian and a professor in Educational Psychology at UW-Milwaukee has shown us why certain things that planetarians do instinctively work. We describe some of our assumptions that have been challenged and some trends in visitors’ responses that are puzzling.
 
 
IPS 2012

Jon W. Elvert
Louisiana Art & Science Museum
100 River Road South
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
jelvert@lasm.org

Abstract: In 2012, the IPS conference will return to the United States in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The conference theme is Bridge to New Beginnings. This talk will summarize preparations already underway, including fees, speakers, venues, sessions, hotels, excursions, post-conference tour, and entertainment. A NASA grant-funded fulldome show is also available to conference attendees. Learn why GLPA members don’t what to miss this important conference.
 
 
GLPA WEB SITE UPDATE

Geoff Holt
MMSD Planetarium
201 S Gammon Rd
Madison, Wisconsin 53717
gholt@madison.k12.wi.us

Abstract: This paper will outline some of the latest developments on the GLPA web site, and give you a preview of some of the features that we are working on. As time allows, members can ask questions about the site and request future features.
 
 
GETTING A FEEL FOR LUNAR CRATERS

David W. Hurd
Planetarium Director/Professor
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
169 Cooper Hall
Edinboro, Pennsylvania 16444
dhurd@edinboro.edu

Abstract: Renewed interest in lunar exploration and NASA’s commitment to reach underserved populations of learners has led to the development of a primer on lunar cratering. Although it is specifically geared toward those who are blind and those with visual impairments, the newly released book, “Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters” has appeal for all. It has been used in the regular classroom as well as at schools for the blind and visually impaired. This paper will highlight the unique features of the book and also alert attendees how they can order the book for free through NASA Core. This book was funded through the NASA Lunar Science Institute and was written and produced by David Hurd and John Matelock.
 
 
OPEN-COMMUNITY MULTI-LAYERED DIGITAL SKY FOR YOUR THEATER

Chris Janssen
Wausau School District Planetarium
1200 West Wausau Ave.
Wausau, Wisconsin 54401
cjanssen@wausau.k12.wi.us

Abstract: Using publically available data, open source GNU data and permission-acquired content, this project aligns and layers many useful kinds of sky projections familiar to planetarians for direct use in their theaters via production software. Some basic instructions will be given for conversions.
 
 
WORLDS WITHOUT END, RE-VISITED

Roy Kaelin
Department of Arts & Sciences
Prairie State College
202 South Halsted Street
Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411
rkaelin@prairiestate.edu

Abstract: A set of definitive guidelines for the classification of planets can make the organization of traditional worlds in the Solar System more logical than the current IAU definition. In addition, as extrasolar worlds are rapidly added to the list of known planetary objects, a systematic classification, unbiased toward cultural or traditional naming schemes, also implies the possibility of inferring the composition of these newly discovered worlds.
 
 
HANDS-ON TEACHING

Tyler R. Linder
Physics Department
Physical Science Bldg., Room 2131
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, Illinois 61920
trlinder@eiu.edu

Abstract: Eastern Illinois University would like to share how it combines astronomy education with hands on experiences using telescopes around the world. Hands-on observing is accomplished by partnering with Astronomical Research Institute (ARI), taking advantage of local state parks, and the on campus observatory.
 
 
TEACHING UNDER THE REAL NIGHT SKY

David Linton
Physics Department
Physical Science Bldg., Room 2131
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, Illinois 61920
dalinton@eiu.edu

Abstract: I share ideas applicable to teaching groups of students from early High School to the Social Security set, ideas developed over >4 decades of teaching under skies both real and projected. Many of my students arrive from areas of major light pollution, so the sky is almost totally new to them. Topics include: using a “lineup” at every session as an effective orientation to the night sky, progressing from a moderately dark sky to a “wow” sky further from city lights, teaching distance and optics by “taking a journey” to the Moon, and using (bad) astronomy humor. Copies of several challenging-but-effective indoor lab experiments are also made available.
 
 
WHAT EVERY 4TH GRADER SHOULD KNOW

Mitch Luman
Koch Planetarium
Evansville Museum
411 SE Riverside Drive
Evansville, Indiana 47713
mluman@emuseum.org

Abstract: Two years ago, I participated in a study whose goal was no less than to set the standard for what every 4th grader in the U.S. should know. I’ve been thinking about my experience in setting the cut scores for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and what it means for astronomy education. I will use the results of this test to make several observations on what you should be teaching in your planetarium and why.
 
 
IT’S A WHOLE NEW UNIVERSE OF PRODUCTION

Waylena McCully
Production Designer
William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Champaign, IIlinois 61821
wmccully@parkland.edu

Abstract: The summer and fall of 2010 were a whirlwind of installations, learning curves, and marathon production sessions for the Staerkel Planetarium staff. Find out how we pulled it off and see examples of our earliest fulldome production efforts as we raced to repopulate our list of program offerings.
 
 
TIME-SAVING WAYS TO MANAGE STELLARIUM HOMEWORK IN ASTRONOMY CLASS

Ken Murphy
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, Minnesota 56258
ken.murphy@smsu.edu

Abstract: Stellarium is a free software program that is perfect for use in any astronomy class setting. Several Assignments are presented that familiarize students with Stellarium’s capabilities while teaching them concepts in astronomy in a way that minimizes workload on the instructor.
 
 
THE BUZZWORDS

Mark Paternostro
Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605
mpaternostro@adlerplanetarium.org

Abstract: As fellow planetarians and sky show makers, we are all familiar with the terms science visualization, computer graphics, show concept, and story. These “buzzwords” define the common currency and means of production for sky show making, though certainly not all of them. The following is a brief peek behind the scenes on the renovation of the Adler Planetarium Sky Theater and back-story about how the premiere show, “The Searcher,” was produced.
 
 
LATEST RESULTS FROM LUNAR RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER

Doug Roberts
Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605
droberts@adlerplanetarium.org

Abstract: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is providing the most detailed views of the Earth’s Moon ever obtained. The primary mission is complete and LRO is now in an extended phase of the mission. LRO has several instruments that have returned data to scientists and to the public and continue to do so. This paper will review the latest results and discuss what is in store in the coming year.
 
 
YES, YOU CAN KEEP YOUR SLIDE-BASED PROGRAMS

Sharon Shanks
Ward Beecher Planetarium
Youngstown State University
One University Plaza
Youngstown OH 44555
slshanks@ysu.edu

Abstract: The good news: yes, you can keep your slide-based programs. The bad news: no, you won’t be producing Oscar-quality work—but, more good news: you don’t need to. With a few tools and a bit of playing around the software, we can transform our slides into respectable fulldome programs that hey!—are pretty good. This paper cannot attempt to address production techniques for each of the fulldome systems available, but, instead, will look at the route to and commonalities in fulldome production and the possibilities for collaboration.
 
 
SCANNING 176,000 SLIDES

Dale W. Smith
BGSU Planetarium
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403 USA
dsmith@newton.bgsu.edu

Abstract: I have digitized 176,000 slides in the past three years. These include personal slides, slides formerly used in university astronomy classes, and planetarium show slides. I will describe this project and its application to planetariums.
 
 
A BRIEF REVIEW & OVERVIEW OF STANDARDS AND PRACTICES WORK BY THE TECHNOLOGIES AD-HOC COMMITTEE

Daniel R. Tell
Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium
272 Pearl St. NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
dtell@grmuseum.org

Abstract: A companion and introduction to the Technology ad-hoc Committee’s work since inception, briefly reviewing and explaining our work and progress on the topic of planetarium and dome theater standards.
 
 
COLOR ACTIVITIES THAT CAN BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH “COSMIC COLORS”

Gary Tomlinson
Chaffee Planetarium, Retired
5075 Division Ave N
Comstock Park, Michigan 49321
gtomlins@sbcglobal.net

Abstract: Activities to accompany the GLPA program, “Cosmic Colors” will be discussed and demonstrated.
 
 
ADOPT A CONSTELLATION 2.0

Keith Turner
Carmel Planetarium
Carmel High School
520 E. Main Street
Carmel, Indiana 46032
wkturner@ccs.k12.in.us

Abstract: Adopt a Constellation 2.0 has students work and construct a project-based Final project throughout the semester and present their project at the end of a semester. Results have indicated that the project has improved the overall Final score averages for all Astronomy classes.
 
 
A FORTY-YEAR PERSPECTIVE OF THE INTERNATIONAL PLANETARIUM SOCIETY

Dave Weinrich
IPS President
Minnesota State University Moorhead
1104 7th Ave. S
Moorhead, Minnesota 56563
weinrich@mnstate.edu

Abstract: Forty-one years ago, over three hundred North American planetarians gathered at the Abrams Planetarium in East Lansing, Michigan for the Conference of American Planetarium Educators. That conference led to the formation of the International Society of Planetarium Educators, which was shortly renamed the International Planetarium Society. As we approach the 40th anniversary of the first ISPE conference, this paper will give a brief perspective of the beginning of the society and its subsequent history.
 
 
CLIMATE CHANGE IS COMMUNICABLE

April Whitt
Fernbank Science Center
156 Heaton Park Drive NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30307
april.whitt@fernbank.edu

Abstract: Based on a webinar we participated in this past spring, a colleague and I coordinated a professional development presentation for science center staff. With the variety of sciences taught here, it was well received. Here are some highlights and suggestions for incorporating the information into your programs.
 
 
THE MAKING OF LIFE: A COSMIC STORY

Ryan Wyatt
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, California 94118
rwyatt@calacademy.org

Abstract: The California Academy of Science’s most recent full-length planetarium feature, Life: A Cosmic Story, tells the story of the origin of life on Earth. The 25-minute show features numerous visualizations and deeply-informed reconstructions of everything from the surface of a thylakoid to the surface of Earth four billions years ago. Learn about the science that informs the story as well as the techniques used to create the visuals.
 
 

Posters

 
SUNROOM AT THE BOONSHOFT: WHERE THE SUN IS ALWAYS SHINING

Cheri Adams
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Parkway
Dayton, Ohio 45414
cadams@boonshoftmuseum.org

Abstract: With the assistance of a matching IMLS grant, we were able to renovate a portion of the astronomy wing, highlight solar information and stellar life cycles, provide interactive stations where minimal visitor participation previously existed, and complete our heliostat project just in time for an approach to a solar maximum cycle.
 
 
“OUR MOON” IS COMING

Dayle L. Brown
Pegasus Productions
6109 Tamerlane Drive
South Bend, Indiana 46614
dayledavid@comcast.net
pegasusproductions.net

Abstract: Take a sneak preview of the fifth book in the Skylore series: Skylore from Planet Earth: stories from around the world…Our MOON. Coming Soon!
 
 
______ DAYS UNTIL THE 2012 TRANSIT OF VENUS

Chuck Bueter
15893 Ashville Ln.
Granger, Indiana 46530
www.transitofvenus.org
bueter@nightwise.org

Abstract: Prepare now for the 2012 transit of Venus. As June 5, 2012, approaches, anticipate a surge of public interest in the last transit of Venus in our lifetimes. Framed by the content at http://www.transitofvenus.org , this poster offers a brief historical perspective, will highlight abundant educational resources, and will suggest hands-on activities to bolster your transit of Venus planning. Historically significant, the rare alignment inspired international expeditions to time the duration of Venus’ passage across the face of the Sun in a collective effort to quantify the Astronomical Unit. Today, astronomers use the transit method to detect new planets that are capable of harboring life.
 
 
CELESTIAL HIGHLIGHTS FOR SKYWATCHERS, JANUARY-AUGUST 2012

John French
Abrams Planetarium
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
frenchj@msu.edu

Abstract: Students should be encouraged to follow Venus and Jupiter at dusk from late October 2011 through spring 2012, culminating in a spectacular pairing of the two brightest planets in the western sky. A solar eclipse and rare transit of Venus conclude the school-year highlights. Materials will be offered for students to keep track of the planets in their orbits and enable them to determine visibilities of the planets from Earth.
 
 

Workshops

 
 
WORLD IN MOTION

Karrie Berglund
Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc.
817 Pacific Avenue
Bremerton, Washington 98310
Karrie@DigitalisEducation.com

Abstract: This workshop is a presentation Digitalis’ 6th-8th grade lesson plan by the same name. “World in Motion” explores the following concepts: that objects are in motion in our solar system; that Earth’s movements give us the concepts of a day and a year; that gravity keeps the planets in orbit around the Sun and the Moon in orbit around the Earth; how to recognize a planet in the night sky; and retrograde and prograde planetary motion.
 
 
MODERN INSTRUCTIONAL/EVENT PRESENTATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMMERSIVE/PLANETARIUM THEATERS
 
Jeff Bowen
Mike Grznar
Bowen Technovation
7999 East 88th St.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46256
jeffb@bowentechnovation.com
mikeg@bowentechnovation.com
 
Abstract: The modern design for a domed theater should include extensive audio-visual control capabilities for instruction, special events, and other multimedia uses. This package is one of the most overlooked parts of theater upgrade or new construction design and is typically poorly done. Jeff Bowen and Mark Trotter have designed dozens of such modern packages and will address such subjects as:
  • on what date will the VGA output disappear from computers?
  • on what date will analog outputs be disabled on BlueRay players?
  • where to locate computer and video inputs
  • how to network the theater into the LAN
  • when to use HDMI ... and when not
  • inclusion of HDTV tuners.5.1 audio from HDTV tuners and DVD
  • modern LED, LCD, and DLP projectors ... how to select for PowerPoint, HDTV, etc.
  • what is the best way to get live audio mics, keyboards, instruments, etc. into the system?
  • why install widescreen projectors
A workbook will be handed out with exercises.
 
 
COLORS OF LIGHT

Dayle L. Brown
Pegasus Productions
6109 Tamerlane Drive
South Bend, Indiana 46614
pegasusproductions.net
dayledavid@comcast.net
 
Abstract: Participants will examine the information to be learned from stars by the color of their light. We will examine the eye’s reaction to light and color. Rods and cones will be explained. Participants will experiment with colors of light, using diffraction gratings and “color analyzers” to predict the true colors on our “mystery cloth” and mixing the primary colors of light to create white light.
 
 
TRANSIT OF VENUS WORKSHOP

Chuck Bueter
15893 Ashville Lane
Granger, Indiana 46530
bueter@nightwise.org

Gene Zajac
2609 Edgebrook Crossing
Twinsburg, Ohio 44087
zajac_g@shaker.org

Abstract: The purpose of this workshop was to prepare for the next transit of Venus on June 5, 2012, with emphasis on practicing safe observing techniques. Each participant made a safe viewing device, dubbed a Sun Funnel, and was made aware of the times, places, and techniques to view this celestial alignment. See www.transitofvenus.org for resources.
 
 
THE HUNT FOR DARK ENERGY

Randall H. Landsberg
Tom Plagge
Frederick W. High
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
5640 South Ellis Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60637
randy@oddjob.uchicago.edu
Mark SubbaRao
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60640
msubbarao@adlerplanetarium.org

Abstract: Dark energy dominating the composition of the Universe (72%) has become an accepted story. However, no one knows what this strange stuff is, as it is really different from anything else that we are familiar with. Join us for an insider’s view of ongoing experiments that seek to characterize Dark Energy. Learn the gritty and amazing details of a multipronged approach to get a handle on this phenomenon.
 
 
INTRODUCTION TO PRODUCTION WITH FREE SOFTWARE

Waylena McCully
William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Champaign, IIlinois 61821
wmccully@parkland.edu

Chris Janssen
Wausau School District Planetarium
1200 West Wausau Ave.
Wausau, Wisconsin 54401
cjanssen@wausau.k12.wi.us

Daniel R. Tell
Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium
272 Pearl St. NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
dtell@grmuseum.org

Abstract: This is a workshop to teach beginners how to use free software programs to produce content for planetarium theaters. While the focus will be on using the free software package Blender for 3D image production and video animation, other free programs will also be introduced. These techniques should prove useful for both classical planetarians and those who have converted to fulldome.