GLPA Conference Proceedings: 2013

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2013 Proceedings PDF:
 
2013 Supplemental Materials:
 
 
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Here are the titles and abstracts for the Invited Speakers, Contributed Papers, Posters, and Workshops offered during the 2013 GLPA Conference:

 

 

Invited Speakers:

 
REACH FOR THE STARS!
Scott Altman
Vice President, Business Development
Engineering and Aerospace Solutions Group
ASRC Federal
6303 Ivy Lane, Suite 130
Greenbelt, Maryland 20770
Scott.Altman@asrcfederal.com

 

Abstract: The Space Shuttle missions, particularly the Hubble repair missions, have been well publicized and documented. This presentation will go beyond the formal documentation, relating some of the less well known “backstories” of these missions from the perspective of a Space Shuttle Commander (retired).

 

 

ASTRONONY UPDATE FOR THE PLANETARIAN: 2013

Ronald Kaitchuck
Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Planetarium Director
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306
rkaitchu@bsu.edu

 

Abstract: This year the lunar crust was mapped by a pair of orbiting spacecraft and lunar meteor impacts were recorded by automated Earth-based telescopes. A large meteor caused significant damage and injuries in a city in Russia. There is new evidence that Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is getting smaller. The Mars Curiosity Rover continued to accumulate evidence for water in the planet’s past as well as water in its soil right now. Surprisingly, the rover failed to detect methane in the Martian atmosphere despite earlier indications from Earth-based telescopes and Mars-orbiting satellites. Some researchers have suggested that Mars once had supervolcanoes that dwarfed even Olympus Mons. Astronomers have been monitoring comet ISON as it heads for a Sun-grazing perihelion. Currently the Sun is in its weakest solar cycle maximum in 100 years. The down-wind tail of the solar heliosphere has been mapped and Voyager 1 has finally crossed the heliopause and entered interstellar space. No knows why, but the high-speed winds in the atmosphere of Venus are getting even stronger. Exoplanet discoveries continued at a rapid pace. These included a free-floating planet in interstellar space, the tiniest planet yet found around a main sequence star, a planetary system with potentially two habitable Earth-size planets, and the discovery of a blue planet. A couple of earlier exoplanet claims were called into question: the claimed detection of an Earth-mass planet in the Alpha Centauri system and the proposed diamond-planet of the star 55 Cancri. On the other hand, the planet orbiting the star Fomalhaut that was once challenged has now been confirmed. Exoplanet explorations were dealt a major blow this year when the Kepler satellite was severely crippled and the CoRot satellite totally failed. Earth-based telescopes discovered a new type of intrinsic variable star that challenges our understanding of the physics of stellar pulsations. There was a bright nova in the constellation Delphinus. Evidence was uncovered for a new type of supernova. Astronomers continue to monitor a gas cloud that is falling toward the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Very brief and very intense radio bursts have been detected coming from deep space. The implied energy of these events so far defies explanation. The largest spiral galaxy was found. Its dimensions are five times those of the Milky Way galaxy. Finally, results from the new cosmic ray background map of the Planck mission have updated many of the key parameters that describe the Universe.

 

 

LIFE LESSONS AND REFLECTIONS
2013 Armand Spitz Lecture
Art Klinger
P-H-M Planetarium
55860 Bittersweet Rd.
Mishawaka, Indiana  46545
aklinger@phm.k12.in.us

 

Abstract: We’ve all had dreams and goals both personal and professional, and yet, many of us have not pursued them. We put up all sorts of barriers that get in the way. We end up thinking of why something can’t be achieved, rather than putting our efforts into how we can make it happen. The objective of this presentation is to encourage you to…go for it!

 

 

CONSTRUCTING THE NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

Michael E. Wysession
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Washington University
St. Louis, Missouri 63130
michael@wucore.wustl.edu

 

Abstract: A discussion of the role of Earth and Space Sciences in the Next Generation Science Standards, including integration among the sciences, science as practice rather than memorization, the complexity of geosciences, and the place of geosciences in providing a capstone experience to life and physical science studies.

Editor's note: The text below is related to but not the same as the talk given at the conference, and was adapted by the author from a previous writing project. The abstract and section headings were added by the Editor. A PowerPoint file of the author's conference presentation can be found in the Supplementary Materials folder.

 

 

Contributed Papers:

 

FUNDRAISING FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN–LA CROSSE PLANETARIUM

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

 

Abstract: A former student has offered a monetary gift for operating and upgrading our planetarium. We will undergo a drive to try to obtain matching funds.

 

 

DESIGNING A DEGREE IN PLANETARIUM STUDIES

Nick Anderson
BGSU Planetarium
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
nvander@falcon.bgsu.edu

 

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.

 

 

SUGGESTIONS FOR PLANETARIUM SURVIVAL AND SUCCESS: WORKING WITH NEW SCIENCE STANDARDS

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

 

Abstract: The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have deleted some of the detailed astronomy content that was in earlier science standards documents. Thus far eight state education departments have adopted the NGSS standards, and many leading educational groups, including the national Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have endorsed the new document. The result may be that less astronomy is found in science curriculums, particularly in elementary schools. 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 need to be aggressive and creative, both in our programming and in our communication with teachers. In this paper I will suggest what we can do in school programs to both fulfill the new standards and help students learn more astronomy. I will also share some ways we might communicate with teachers to help them realize the importance of coming to the planetarium for these lessons. Our own GLPA document of Minimum Concepts for Astronomy Literacy can be helpful to both planetarians and teachers.

 

 

CREATE = CREATING RELEVANT EDUCATION IN ASTRONOMY THROUGH EXPERIENCE

Robert Bonadurer
Milwaukee Public Museum
800 West Wells Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233
bonadurer@mpm.edu

 

Abstract: CREATE (Creating Relevant Education in Astronomy Through Experience) is an new after school program for underserved high school students in central city neighborhoods in Milwaukee. It has been developed by the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM), in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM). The high school students will be immersed in astronomy science and then help create and develop a full dome planetarium show. CREATE is made possible by an educational grant from NASA.

 

 

COMBINE ART AND COMET ISON

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

 

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 exhibit will be held in the Colfax Cultural Center, South Bend, Indiana. An art exhibit will bring a whole new audience to your planetarium.

 

 

NITARP: EDUCATORS PARTNERING WITH ASTRONOMERS FOR RESEARCH

Joe Childers
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Pkwy
Dayton, Ohio 45414
jchilders@boonshoftmuseum.org

 

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.

 

 

ENRICHING OUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Jean Creighton
UW-Milwaukee Manfred Olson Planetarium
Dept. of Physics
P. O. Box 413
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201

 

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 some ideas you can explore wherever you are.

 

 

FEELING THE STARS: ACCESSIBILITY OF THE LITTLE STAR THAT COULD PROGRAM IN THE JAMES S. MCDONNELL PLANETARIUM AT THE SAINT LOUIS SCIENE CENTER FOR VISITORS WHO ARE BLIND OR HAVE LOW VISION.

Anna Rebecca Green
James S. McDonnell Planetarium
Saint Louis Science Center
5050 Oakland Ave.
Saint Louis, Missouri 63110
agreen@slsc.org

 

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-Kindergarten 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.

 

 

THE BENEFITS OF WORKING IN A PLANETARIUM AS A STUDENT

Chris Karlic
Ward Beecher Planetarium
Youngstown State University
One University Plaza
Youngstown, Ohio 44504
paleochris@gmail.com

 

Abstract: During my two years at the Ward Beecher Planetarium, I have learned many things, including how my life has been changed. I have learned computer skills, projector skills, public outreach skills, and telescope skills. I have been the recipient of the Thomas William Hamilton Planetarium Scholarship for two consecutive years from 2011-2012. With this wonderful opportunity I have been given, I have utilized as much time between my studies as I have providing the outreach service that the Ward Beecher Planetarium provides to the community of Youngstown.

 

 

ADULT SWIM -- KIDS, OUTTA THE WATER!

Deb Lawson
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 North Meridian St.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46208
debl@childrenmsnuseum.org

 

Abstract: In February 2013, SpaceQuest Planetarium participated in a first-ever “Adult Swim”. This was an after-hours event geared to young adults. We created an original 13-minute show called Planetarium Mash Up that combined Digistar 4 and DUG short clips, an original soundtrack, and an original live script. The content was part astronomy/science, part crazy fun visuals. It was a huge success for the museum. The concept is very translatable: it could be modulated to other fund-raising museum, school, or community events.

 

 

ONLINE ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK PROJECT

Adam Leis
Bowling Green State University
1082 Fairview Ave.
Apt. V6
Bowling Green, Ohio  43402
adam.m.leis@gmail.com

 

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.

 

 

EVANSVILLE’S NEW PLANETARIUM: THE KOCH IMMERSIVE THEATER

Mitch Luman
Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science
P. O. Box 3435
Evansville, Indiana 47733
mluman@emuseum.org

 

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 nine years in the making.

 

 

TIPS ON PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING A CONVERSION TO FULLDOME TECHNOLOGY

Waylena McCully
William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Ave.
Champaign, Illinois 61821
wmccully@parkland.edu

 

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.

 

 

IMMERSIVE CREATIONS—NEURODOME

Patrick McPike
Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605
pmcpike27@gmail.com

 

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.

 

 

TEN YEARS OF FULLDOME SHOW DESIGN: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

Mike Murray
Programs Manager
Clark Planetarium
110 South 400 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
mmurray@slco.org

 

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.

 

 

SCALING THE SOLAR SYSTEM: HOW TO DO THIS IN YOUR SCHOOL

Mark S. Reed
Peter F. Hurst Planetarium
c/o Jackson High School
544 Wildwood Avenue
Jackson, Michigan 49201
marksreed@aol.com

 

Abstract:  The Solar System is a topic that many people enjoy learning about but within its inherent interest lie many misconceptions. Commercial products from puzzles, children’s books, and textbooks often indirectly communicate information that simply is not true about the relative size and distance to various objects within our Solar System. The purpose of my paper is to provide a model that teachers can use in their own school and community.

 

 

USING WORLDWIDE TELESCOPE FOR DOME PRODUCTIONS

Doug Roberts
Northwestern University/Microsoft Research
Dept. of Physics & Astronomy
2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, Illinois 60208
doctor.spaceman@yahoo.com

 

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
1300 South Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60605
msmail@adlerplanetarium.org

 

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.

 

 

ARCHIVING A MUSEUM

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

 

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.

 

 

THE INTERNATIONAL PLANETARIUM SOCIETY'S SCIENCE AND DATA VISUALIZATION TASK FORCE

Mark SubbaRao
Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, Illinois 60605
msubbarao@adlerplanetarium.org

 

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.

 

 

PROJECT NANOTARIUM: THE MOST INEXPENSIVE, QUALITY DIY PLANETARIUM ON EARTH

Jim Sweitzer, Marcelo Caplan, & David Morton
Columbia College Chicago
623 South Wabash
Chicago, Illinois 60605
jsweitzer@colum.edu

 

Abstract: Project Nanotarium’s goal is to develop small 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, inexpensive, optical planetarium projector using 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 bonus is that these projectors can eventually be offered as full or partial kits. The project is developing corollary information on the physics of optics and light on which the projectors depend. 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. Research conducted during the summer program showed positive gains in attitudes toward STEM as well as a significant increase in science content knowledge.

 

 

REALTIME EVERYWHERE

Daniel R. Tell
Morrison Planetarium
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, California 94118
dtell@calacademy.org

 

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 realtime content. With the current capabilities of realtime 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.

 

 

SENTINEL: SPOTTING ASTEROIDS BEFORE THEY FIND US!

Daniel R. Tell
Morrison Planetarium
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, California 94118
dtell@calacademy.org

 

Abstract: Last year, Morrison Planetarium collaborated with the non-profit B612 Foundation, chaired by former astronaut Ed Lu, to produce a short fulldome 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.

 

 

EXPLORING MULTI-SCREEN VIDEO PRODUCTION AT THE BALL STATE PLANETARIUM

Dayna L. Thompson
Ball State University Planetarium
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306
dlthompson3@bsu.edu

 

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 by using multi-screen video production and playback software. I will discuss how this software has been used in the production of live and pre-recorded planetarium programs.

 

 

THE PLANETARIUM JOB DESCRIPTON: A POWERFUL TOOL FOR THE PLANETARIAN

W. Keith Turner
Carmel Planetarium
Carmel Clay Schools
520 East Main St.
Carmel, Indiana 46032
wkturner@ccs.k12.in.us
 
Gregg Williams
Merrillville Planetarium
Clifford Pierce Middle School
199 E. 70th Ave.
Merrillville, Indiana 46410
gwilliam@mvsc.k12.in.us
 
Sarah Schultz
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Minnesota State University Moorhead
1104 7th Ave S
Moorhead, Minnesota 56563
schultz@mnstate.edu
 
Timothy F. Slater
Department of Secondary Education
College of Education
University of Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming 82071

 

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 (Williams 1998). I updated this and included the modern changes that have happened in our field recently. Do not assume anyone knows or understands what you do. Be ready at a moment's notice to give them your detailed job description. Administrators, Deans, Department Chairs all should find this document helpful if you need or plan to replace a Planetarium Director, build a new planetarium, or update an existing facility.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION -- IT'S A WIN-WIN SITUATION

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

 

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.

 

 

STORIES AMONG THE STARS

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

 

Abstract: Fernbank Science Center and the Southern Order of Storytellers collaborated on a fund-raiser to benefit both groups. We provided the science, and they brought the stories.

 

 

Posters:

 

EXOPLANETS EXPLORATION

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

 

Abstract: The new exoplanet exhibit, Exoplanets Explorarion, will open February 2014 in the astronomy wing of the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. The exhibit will provide a sound STEM base for the target audience to explore exoplanet discoveries, to gain the science knowledge necessary to have a basic understanding of exoplanet missions and instruments utilized, make learning about exoplanets accessible by providing interactive exhibit components, and to challenge visitors to contemplate the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. The new exhibit is funded by a NASA CP4SMP grant.

 

 

COMETS & METEORS

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

 

Abstract: As Comet ISON approaches, the question is “will it fizzle or shine?” My new book, Skylore from Planet Earth: stories from around the world…COMETS & METEORS, will not be ready for publication until 2014. Here is a sneak preview of some of the ancient stories about Comets and Meteors. Some may surprise you!

 

 

ENHANCING DIGISTAR WITH PYTHON AND JAVASCRIPT

Joe Childers
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Pkwy
Dayton, Ohio 45414
jchilders@boonshoftmuseum.org

 

Abstract: Digistar 5's scripting language lacks some standard programming features such as loops, conditionals, and variables. For advanced programmers there are two plug-ins that support the Python and Javascript languages. This poster compares and contrasts native Digistar, Python, and Javascript so you can know which is most appropriate for various tasks.

 

 

SKY EVENTS, 2014

Robert C. Victor
retired from Abrams Planetarium
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
rvictormi@earthlink.net

 

Abstract: Two sets of monthly sky maps follow, at dusk and at dawn midtwilight, the 15 stars of first magnitude or brighter, and the five naked-eye planets. The charts show four occasions to see four naked-eye planets simultaneously in 2013-2014: in Nov.-Dec. 2013, even if Comet ISON fails to please, a fine display spanning from Mercury-Saturn low in ESE, through Mars high in SE, to Jupiter well up in W will reward early risers. The other spread-out foursomes, in 2014, include Ve-Sa-Ma-Ju in Jan-Feb predawn; Me-Ve-Sa-Ma in Feb-Mar morning twilight; and Me-Ju-Ma-Sa (the best display) in May evening twilight. Two planetary conjunctions, both in August 2014, are a brilliant close Ve-Ju pair at dawn, and a wider Ma-Sa pair at dusk. Predawn total lunar eclipses occur on April 15 and October 8, with the latter stages of the October eclipse interrupted by brightening twilight or moonset for many GLPA'ers.

 

 

Workshops:

 

STAGES AND STYLES: HOW PEOPLE LEARN

Karrie Berglund
Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc.
817 Pacific Avenue
Bremerton, WA 98337
karrie@DigitalisEducation.com
 
Susan Reynolds Button
Quarks to Clusters
8793 Horseshoe Lane
Chittenango, New York 13037
sbuttonq2c@gmail.com

 

Abstract: This workshop explored different learning styles and stages of development. Learning styles information was taken from the Institute for Learning Styles Research website, www.learningstyles.org.  Information about Piaget's stages of development was taken from www.childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/piaget.shtml and http://media.lanecc.edu/users/kime/Psy201lifespanB.pdf

 

 

COMET ACTIVITIES

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

 

Abstract: Two workshops at the 2013 Annual Conference of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) in Peoria, IL, featured comet-related activities for educators. The presentations paralleled the author’s recent experiences at all-school assemblies in South Bend, IN, which is having a Comet Festival to celebrate the uncertain outcome of Comet ISON. The GLPA workshops concluded with each participant making a dry ice comet (http://www.nightwise.org/blog/make-comet/). This paper offers a sample outline for public or school or group demonstrations, with links and resources within www.cometfestival.com.

 

 

INTERACTIVITY IN LARGE DOMES: OBSERVATIONS FROM THE FIELD

Keith W. Davis
Digital Visualization Theater
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
Keith.Davis.DVT@nd.edu

 

Abstract: Interactivity provides a valuable option for education, but the dark environment of the dome provides challenges. Large domes create further challenges as working with larger numbers of people creates equipment and time constraints. The following are two activities designed for use as assignments in the Digital Visualization Theater at the University of Notre Dame, a 50-ft diameter digital planetarium with 136 unidirectional seats. I provided an explanation of the activities along with the challenges and successes of his experience with them. Although designed for the digital projection system of the DVT, the activities discussed use standard night sky features common to all planetaria. During the talk, the floor was open for discussion of how these activities could be adapted to other planetarium scenarios.

 

 

TEACHING "SEASONS" IN THE PLANETARIUM

Geoff Holt
Madison Metropolitan School District Planetarium
201 South Gammon Road
Madison, Wisconsin 53717
gholt@madison.k12.wi.us

 

Abstract: We all know that teaching the causes for seasonal change can be a challenge. It's a difficult concept to teach, learn, and describe. There are many misconceptions related to seasons, and it involves terminology that can be confusing. But many of us have invented or adapted successful techniques for helping our visitors understand this complex subject. Join us for this workshop to learn some of these techniques, or to share your favorite tips.

 

 

UNMASKING THE UNIVERSE WITH THE CMB, NATURE'S ULTIMATE BACKLIGHT

Randall H. Landsberg
University of Chicago/KICP
933 E. 56th St.
Chicago, Illinois 60637
randy@oddjob.uchicago.edu
 
Bradford Benson
University of Chicago/KICP
 
Lindsey Bleem
Argonne National Laboratory
 
Mark SubbaRao
University of Chicago/KICP
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum

 

Abstract: For nearly half a century scientists have been laboring to observe the fine details of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). This workshop will explore how the South Pole Telescope (SPT) has transformed the study of the CMB by using the distant, primordial CMB radiation as a backlight to detect intervening structures. In an interactive presentation using the WorldWide Telescope (WWT), we will explore the data, images, and story of how SPT exploits the CMB to detect massive galaxy clusters and ancient starburst galaxies, which were discovered unexpectedly (a story ripped from the headlines, or at least from the journal Nature). We also examine how multi-wavelength (x-ray, optical, and radio) follow-up observations on some of the world’s most powerful telescopes (Hubble and Chandra space telescopes, and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array — ALMA) are revolutionizing our understanding of star and galaxy formation in the early universe. In an effort to make this workshop useful for your home institutions it will include: a brainstorming session to identify ways to incorporate the science and the visuals into a museum or planetarium, a live demonstration of an example narrative one might construct, and take home resources (e.g., data, visuals, and WWT tour).

 

 

NEW SCIENCE STANDARDS: SIGNIFICANCE FOR YOUR PLANETARIUM

Gary Sampson
Gary E. Sampson Planetarium
880 Hi Ridge Avenue
Waukesha, Wisconsin 53186
sampsoga@gmail.com
 
Susan C. Batson
North Hills High School
53 Rochester Road
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15229
batsons.nhsd@gmail.com
 
David DeRemer
Charles Horwitz Planetarium
S14 W28167 Madison Street
Waukesha Wisconsin 53188
dderemer@waukesha.k12.wi.us

 

Abstract: After an update on the final version of the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS), breakout sessions for elementary, middle school, and high school groups analyzed and identified components of the NGSS in current planetarium programs. Groups also developed strategies on how to integrate science standards in their own planetarium presentations. Relevant materials were provided including A Reader’s Guide to the Next Generation Science Standards.