GLPA Conference Proceedings: 2015

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2015 Proceedings PDF:
 
2015 Supplemental Materials:

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Here are the titles and abstracts for the Invited Speakers, Contributed Papers, Posters, and Workshops offered during the 2015 GLPA Conference:

 

 

Invited Speakers:
 
 
REFLECTIONS ON ACQUIRING WISDOM
2015 Armand Spitz Lecture
Susan Reynolds Button
Quarks to Clusters
8793 Horseshoe Lane
Chittenango, New York 13037
 
Abstract: The innate curiosity of humankind demands that we examine where interesting events start and end as well as how, sometimes, endings are actually beginnings. This exploration of both time and space leads to the inevitable development of a cultural narrative that reflects on both the explored and the explorer. This narrative can expand our identity as well as our ability to experience a full and productive life; reflecting upon it can help us acquire wisdom.
 
 
COMMENTS ON THE ORIGIN, DEVELOPMENT, AND FUTURE OF GLPA
50th Anniversary Lecture
Von Del Chamberlain
Co-founder of GLPA
 
Abstract: Gathered in celebration of our 50 years together, we consider how the Great Lakes Planetarium Association came into existence, what it has become and its potential under the charge of its members.
 
 
ASTRONOMY UPDATE FOR THE PLANETARIAN 2015
Ronald Kaitchuck
Charles W. Brown Planetarium
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306
 
Abstract: The year 2015 had many major discoveries and breakthroughs for astronomy. These included the first close view of the dwarf planet Ceres, a probe that rode with a comet around the Sun, the first look at the surface of Pluto, water found owing on Mars, an exoplanet that might be a cousin of Earth, planets seen forming in dust disks, the discovery that the Milky Way is really 160,000 light years across, and galaxies that are 98% dark matter.
 
 
CONNECTING FIELD TRIPS TO CLASSROOM LEARNING: USING THE PLANETARIUM TO SUPPORT STUDENTS’ ENGAGEMENT IN SCIENCE PRACTICES
Julia D. Plummer
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
 
Kim J. Small
Arcadia University
Glenside, Pennsylvania 19038
Upper Dublin School District
Maple Glen, Pennsylvania 19002
 
Abstract: The Next Generation Science Standards, and other policy documents for K-12 science learning, look beyond a focus on the content of science to include the practices of how scientists do science. This paper describes promising evidence of the potential planetariums have in contributing to students’ engagement in science practices by sharing research conducted on what elementary students learned through a combination of planetarium eld trip and classroom lessons. First grade students significantly improved in their representations of the apparent motion of the Moon (n=25) and the lunar phases (n=26) through observations and analysis in the planetarium and further discussing and representation-negotiation in the classroom with peers. The design of our intervention has implications for how planetariums can contribute to students’ engagement with science practices within and beyond the dome.
 
 
DIRECT FROM PLUTO
Thomas Strikwerda
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, Maryland 20723-6099
 
Abstract: NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto captivated people around the world when it rendezvoused with the dwarf planet on 14 July 2015. This paper goes behind the scenes to highlight the unique spacecraft and many challenges the science and engineering teams solved to make the amazing discoveries possible.
 
 

Contributed Papers:

 

SENIOR ADULT ASTRONOMY EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Cheri Adams
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Parkway
Dayton, Ohio 45414
 
Abstract: Senior adult education programs have increased in popularity across the country in recent years. The University of Dayton began their UD Institute for Learning in Retirement in 1994 and became associated with the Osher Lifelong Learning Network in 2004. Through the UDILR program, I have taught a six-week astronomy class in the planetarium each fall for the past 15 years. My initial class came to me by default and over the years I have found it to be an exceptionally rewarding experience. Through this presentation I will share what topics I have covered, what techniques and content worked well, and what has not.
 
 
IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENTS AS COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE
Julieta Aguilera
1129 Ferdinand Ave.
Forest Park, Illinois 60130
Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, UK
 
Abstract: This paper frames best practices for developing planetarium shows in the context of experiences that take advantage of the human perceptual system through variables derived from natural experience. Also considered are art performances that expand ideas of embodiment in scientific visualization. Examples cited are efforts the author contributed to while researching, coordinating, and producing interactive experiences at a planetarium for the past eight years. Recommendations for a multidisciplinary collaborative process are included as well.
 
 
ANIMATING FOR A PLANETARIUM: OUR PROCESS AND BEYOND
Alexa Alpern
Justin Greenly

Edinboro University Planetarium
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
219 Meadville St
Edinboro, Pennsylvania 16444
 
Abstract: This discussion shares the experience of two animators in their process of converting a planetarium slideshow into an animated lm. Examples of the process revolve around the original slide based planetarium show “The World At Night.” The overlapping of animation theory and audience retention will be primary topics, along with hopes for the future of planetarium-based shows. 
 
 
PLANETARIUM SHOWS BASED ON CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Susan C. Batson
W. Brayton Batson

Digital Immersion Theater and Planetarium
North Hills High School
53 Rochester Road
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15229
 
Abstract: Students who are enrolled in beginners’ World Language courses such as French, Spanish, German, and Latin have vocabulary skills similar to small children who speak these languages as natives. Therefore, we have used children’s books—either written in, or translated into, these languages—to create planetarium presentations for these classes. The students never hear the stories in English, but only in the language they are studying. We have had some success in building curricular activities and connections with World Language teachers, and in the process, increased the use of the planetarium facility in our school.
 
 
THE IPS VIDEO PROJECT
Jeanne Bishop
Westlake Schools Planetarium
24525 Hilliard Road
Westlake, Ohio 44145
 
Abstract: This past summer the IPS Education Committee began a project to archive both short video clips and longer video of planetarium educators teaching a variety of topics. This project was inspired by the GLPA video project, available on the GLPA website. The effort, led by Oded Kindermann of Argentina (okindermann@gmail.com) is discussed in the “Seeking what Works” column of the June 2015 issue of Planetarian. In this paper, all GLPA members will be invited to participate in the project by sending a video to Oded and the archive that they make in their own planetariums or classrooms. Considerations for making a video and possible topics will be given in this paper. 
 
 
CREATE! A TEENAGER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY!
Robert Bonadurer
Daniel M. Soref Planetarium
Milwaukee Public Museum
800 West Wells Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233
 
Abstract: CREATE = Creating Relevant Astronomy Education through Experience. It is a NASA funded after school program where students created a new and unique planetarium show: A Teenager’s Guide to the Galaxy. See some of their creative results.
 
 
THE PLANETARIUM STORY — A PERSONAL JOURNEY
Robert Bonadurer 
Daniel M. Soref Planetarium
Milwaukee Public Museum
800 West Wells Street 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233
 
Abstract: What is a planetarium? Exactly? When did they start? How did they evolve? How will they look in the future? Explore the world of the Planetarium in this personal journey through the stars. 
 
 
STORIES FROM THE HOME PLANET (HISTORIAS DE NUESTRO PLANETA)
Sally Brummel
Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church St. SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
 
Abstract: A team of educators from the Bell Museum of Natural History, the St. Paul Public School District (SPPS, Minnesota), and Planetario de Medellín/Parque Explora (Colombia), engaged in a yearlong exchange program to develop science curricula and planetarium programming for Spanish and English speakers. “Stories from the Home Planet—Historias de nuestro Planeta” is designed to connect teachers, their students, and communities in Colombia and Minnesota. The project was funded by a grant from Museums Connect, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs administered by the American Alliance of Museums. 
 
 
STARS AND STORYTELLING ALIGNED
Jean Creighton
Robin Mello
UW-Milwaukee Manfred Olson Planetarium
Physics Department
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
 
Abstract: An innovative collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Planetarium and its Theatre Department has culminated in: a storytelling course about the size of the universe; a research project about the impact of an art-infused curriculum on students’ ability to learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); a grant to buy software; and hopefully also hardware for our Planetarium. 
 
 
OUTCOMES OF IMMERSIVE LEARNING
Jon W. Elvert
3526 Bon Sejour Avenue
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70820
 
Abstract: Research data have shown that students retain show content information longer when the experience is in an immersive, full-dome environment than when viewing the identical show on a at screen monitor, or in school. This paper summarizes such data taken from students who viewed our NASA grant shows. The results support the premise that immersive learning is a proven, effective method for retaining subject matter. 
 
 
USING GOOGLE STREET VIEW TO MAKE A FULLDOME PHOTO
John French
Abrams Planetarium
755 Science Road
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
 
Abstract: This paper explains how to use a smartphone to make a fulldome image. The app discussed is “Google Street View”. Both an iPhone and Android phone can create fulldome 360° images. 
 
 
ENCOURAGING THE NEXT GENERATION OF PLANETARIANS
Anna Green
Planetarium Manager
James S. McDonnell Planetarium
Saint Louis Science Center
5050 Oakland Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63110
 
Abstract: Working in the planetarium eld is an exciting and desirable career path that often times lends itself to a lifelong vocation. As many staff choose to grow with their planetarium, perhaps even retiring from the same planetarium in which they were first involved, it becomes imperative for the experienced generation to start preparing the next generation of planetarians. This paper will explore different options that veteran planetarians can use to usher in new planetarians, and that new planetarians can use to gain the experience and professional development they need to grow. 
 
 
PLANNING FOR NGSS
Geoff Holt
Madison Metropolitan School District Planetarium
201 South Gammon Road
Madison, Wisconsin 53717
 
Abstract: The Madison school district has begun a three-year plan to switch over to the Next Generation Science Standards. In this paper I will share how this change affects the planetarium, how I am working to plan for this change, and share the resources that are helping me.
 
 
STAR SAFARI
Shane Horvatin
Abrams Planetarium
Michigan State University
755 Science Road
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
 
Abstract: On Saturday July 11, 2015 the Abrams Planetarium along with Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo presented a special live show, Star Safari. This show introduced the audience to animal constellations in the night sky and to real animals from the zoo. Audience members heard stories about the animal constellations and what the zoo is doing to help with their conservation. Zoo docents had many small animals on display in the planetarium lobby before and after the show. 
 
 
SCIENCE ON STATE STREET
Francine Jackson
University of Rhode Island Planetarium
P. O. Box 353
University of Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island 02901
 
Abstract: This past April, Framingham State University held its first ever science day, incorporating exhibits from all ranges of science and science related departments. This paper will explain the efforts of the Physics and Earth Sciences Departments’ contribution to this day.
 
 
HOW TO USE GOOGLE TOOLS TO MAKE YOUR OWN ONLINE PROGRAM REQUEST FORM AND CALENDARING ON YOUR WEB SITE
Chris Janssen
Planetarium of the Wausau School District
Wausau West High School
1200 West Wausau Avenue
Wausau, Wisconsin 54401
 
Abstract: How to Use Free Google Tools to Make your Own Online Program Request Form and Calendaring on your Web Site. Booking programs and knowing when they are is of primary importance. You can now build your own automatic booking system including Web site, online calendar and program request form. All code and instructions will be provided. 
 
 
ASTRONOMY IN CHILE — WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW AND RESOURCES YOU CAN USE!
Renae Kerrigan
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, Illinois 61602
 
Sarah Komperud
Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church St SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
 
Shannon Schmoll
Abrams Planetarium
Michigan State University
755 Science Rd
East Lansing Michigan 48823
 
Abstract: The NSF funded Astronomy in Chile Education Ambassador Program (ACEAP) sent nine astronomy educators to Chile in 2015. Sarah Komperud, Renae Kerrigan, and Shannon Schmoll of the GLPA region were selected as part of the first cohort. Learn about the US government funded telescopes in Chile and the resources we created & gathered that you can use in your planetarium. You will also learn how you can visit Chile through astro- tourism or applying for next year’s ACEAP program.
 
 
THE NEXT 20 YEARS: A VISION FOR PLANETARIUMS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Staffan Klashed
SCISS
Telefonvägen 30
126 26 Hägersten
Sweden
 
Abstract: By understanding where we stand today and what the major tendencies are— tendencies that are bigger than any single innovation, company, or institution—planetariums can shape a strategy to grow and remain increasingly relevant. That means maintaining current, growing, and recurring audiences, and providing them with meaningful and inspirational experiences. In analyzing and researching the potential future of planetariums, I found some clear tendencies that go deeper than any individual trend, event or product: • The competition for talent will define our success or failure. If we can attract and pick from the top layer of those 18.5 million developers, science visualizers, and artists, planetariums will flourish. Planetariums should continue to try to attract data visualization talent from this group. And for those who cannot afford an in-house content developer, reach out to other planetariums and share a content developer resource between you. It is about getting out there to find that latest data, massage it into consumable content and ultimately experiences on the dome, using the software systems you have or will have from software companies servicing our industry. • We need to face the data explosion and the fact that two thirds of the public are interested in the astronomy and space exploration stories contained in this data. How we respond will decide how audiences and talent will respond to planetariums. Adjusting marketing to change old perceptions of what the planetarium can offer will be a key success factor. The multiplatform aspect of planetariums will help with this; the visitor can be more attached to the experience by engaging and participating online. • Finally, we need to evolve with the educational system. With learning increasingly unbound by a time and a place, planetariums that have expanded onto multiple platforms can take a strong position as their communities’ centers of excellence for astronomy and space exploration. Hopefully the educational paradigm will also have evolved by then from a facts-first model to an interest-first model, which makes the planetarium value proposition both for the in-dome and out-of-dome experience even stronger.
 
 
SCIENTIFIC HUMILITY
Adam Leis
Alumnus, BGSU Planetarium
224 B Killarney Circle
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402
 
Abstract: Focusing more in the branch of the Philosophy of Science, I’ve become interested in the idea of “Scientific Humility”. Specifically, how it might address the questions of what is it, how can it be used in teaching or learning, and why should anyone care. I will analyze some positive and negative examples of Scientific Humility and the consequences that followed.
 
 
THE 360 DEGREE VR PLANETARIUM
Patrick McPike
Mark SubbaRao

Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605
 
Abstract: The future planetarium show is not under a dome, it is powered by big tech and virtual reality. There are many ways that this new technology can help and hurt the planetarium. By planning now for the future we can learn how to embrace the positive possibilities and minimize the negative impacts. By collaborating with planetarium software providers and content creators, we as an industry have the potential to expand the planetarium beyond our walls and far into the future. 
 
 
CONVERTING A SLIDE-BASED PLANETARIUM SHOW TO FULLDOME USING FREE SOFTWARE
Ken Murphy
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, Minnesota 56258
 
Abstract: Free software tools have become abundant and feature rich. At the Southwest Minnesota State University Planetarium we have developed a workflow process for creating fulldome content with free software. Last Spring we said farewell to our last commercial software package (Adobe AfterEffects w/ fulldome plugin). This talk outlines how a GLPA-produced planetarium show, “The Stargazer” was transformed from a slide-based show to a fulldome production and how student help was incorporated.
 
 
THE BENEFITS OF USING LIVE MATERIAL WITH YOUR PLAYBACK SHOWS
Mike Murray
Delta College Planetarium & Learning Center
100 Center Avenue
Bay City, Michigan 48708
 
Abstract: The value of the planetarium as a unique place of learning and curiosity can be dramatically improved by incorporating live content with your pre-recorded shows. “Push button” programs by themselves do little to impress upon audiences the full dynamic character of the modern digital dome theater. The 3-dimensional simulation capabilities provide unique opportunities to put the show and the overall immersive experience into a more effective context. It also offers a way for attendees to get a personalized experience, a human touch that allows for your enthusiasm to come through and make a deeper, more long- lasting positive impression. In this paper we will outline a variety of presentation elements used at the Delta College Planetarium (and elsewhere) to improve the visitor experience. 
 
 
A PLANETARIUM-CENTERED COLLEGE-LEVEL INTRODUCTORY ASTRONOMY COURSE FOR NON-SCIENCE MAJORS
Sheldon Schafer
Adjunct Faculty
Bradley University
Peoria, Illlinois 61625
 
Abstract: Many colleges and universities in the country have an introductory course in astronomy as part of their general education curriculum. These courses exhibit a variety of components comprising lectures, digital visualizations, laboratory exercises, observatory visits, and planetarium visits. This paper will describe a planetarium-centered course developed at Bradley University that includes ten planetarium sessions and culminates with an all-sky exam presented in the planetarium that integrates students’ textbook knowledge with sky identification.
 
 
BEYOND THE STARS: ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMMING IN PLANETARIA
Mike Smail
Adler Planetarium
1300 S Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60605
 
Anna Green
McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center
5050 Oakland Ave.
St. Louis, Missouri 63110
 
Renae Kerrigan
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, Illinois 61602
 
Abstract: The Adler Planetarium, Peoria Riverfront Museum, and McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center have explored alternative programming in their domes to great success. While astronomy education will always be the purpose of planetariums, concerts, rental dinners, and other non-astronomy programming can bring in new audiences to your dome. We’ll discuss several examples of alternative programming, and touch on ways that you can bring them to life in your planetarium.
 
 
TWEET TWEET: BETTER ENGAGEMENT IN 140 CHARACTERS
Mike Smail
Adler Planetarium
1300 S Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, Illinois 60605
 
Abstract: Twitter is a social media platform uniquely positioned to help planetaria and museums of all sizes engage with the public and grow their impact. We’ll take a look at how museums and planetaria are currently using the platform, and how you can use it to better reach your audience, no matter how large or small they are. 
 
 
IMPORTING LEGACY SHOWS INTO SCIDOME
Dale W. Smith
BGSU Planetarium
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
 
Abstract: We have now imported over 30 of our legacy shows into SciDome. Our experience is that the SciDome version of the show is superior to the slide version. The text of this paper overviews the importing process and a lengthy associated user’s guide sets out the process and helpful hints in some detail. 
 
 
SELLING SCIENCE: STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTING YOUR PLANETARIUM
Lindsie Smith
Clark Planetarium
110 South 400 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
 
Abstract: More often than not, planetariums, science centers, and museums have small marketing budgets, but we have big expectations for our community impact. How do you create an effective marketing plan with such a limited budget? I will discuss how our team leverages limited dollars to draw 400,000 visitors to Clark Planetarium every year. From targeted messaging, to social media, to building press relationships, I will help attendees think strategically about their marketing plans. 
 
 
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE: JAVASCRIPT & DIGISTAR 5
Buddy Stark
Longway Planetarium
1310 E. Kearsley St.
Flint, Michigan 48503
 
Abstract: My content developer Brian Wolff and I spent three weeks and created a choose- your-own-adventure program for Digistar 5. It uses JavaScript to choose events at random based on user input. For instance, the audience might choose to go to an abandoned ship out in space, there’s a chance it could be a trap but not even the presenter knows for sure if it is a trap or not. This talk will discuss how we created it and how you can create your own with a fairly limited knowledge of JavaScript. 
 
 
THE KAVLI FULLDOME LECTURE SERIES: DOMECASTING AND THE FUTURE OF PLANETARIUM COLLABORATION
Mark SubbaRao
Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605
 
Abstract: The combination of a world-class science communicator backed by state-of-the-art immersive, fulldome visuals is an extremely powerful experience. Unfortunately constructing these experiences is both technically challenging and time consuming. On top of that, given the limited seating of the planetarium we are only able to reach a relatively small audience with each lecture. A collaboration between the Kavli Foundation and the Adler Planetarium solves the production side of the ‘business model’ problem. The Kavli Foundations helps identify and recruit world class science communicators from their institutes while also providing funds for the lecture’s production. The funding enables the Adler’s visualization team to spend significant effort creating high quality custom visualizations for the lecture. In order to extend the reach of these lectures we are using domecasting technology to simulcast the lectures to other planetaria. The domecast allows us to expand the audience for each lecture from a couple hundred to a couple thousand people. 
 
 
VISUALIZING THE MARTIAN’S JOURNEY
James S. Sweitzer
Science Communications Consultants, LLC
528 N. Ridgeland Ave.
Oak Park, Illinois, 60302
 
Abstract: Recent Hollywood films have been made based upon relatively hard science fiction. In my college classes, I have found that discussions of hard-core sci-fi movies like Interstellar and Gravity have been both popular and yielded good fodder for science teaching. The latest addition, Andy Wier’s novel, The Martian, opened as a feature film at the beginning of October. It tells the tale of a future Martian astronaut who is stranded on Mars and fights for survival as he hopes for a rescue mission. The details of his survival in the northern plains of Mars are those of a 21st Century Robinson Crusoe. The book is quite specific about the points along astronaut Mark Watney’s journey. I have located nearly all the sites using Mars orbiter data—some in 3D. In this presentation I will give a slide show and a tour of the terrain featured in this fictional story using real scientific data. Attendees will be given a chance to download the images for use in their own planetariums. (SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t wish to know how the film “The Martian” ends, do not read this paper!) 
 
 
DATA TO DOME
Daniel R. Tell
Morrison Planetarium
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, California 94118
 
Abstract: The Morrison Planetarium, through events like its Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lecture Series and Earth Update program, regularly has the opportunity to work directly with researchers to bring their data into the planetarium environment. Often this requires wrangling their research, processing their datasets, and convincing them to give up powerpoint slides and experience the planetarium environment. Explore some of the broad research topics covered, the tools used and some of the personal experiences bringing data to the dome.
 
 
A YEAR OF PLANET GATHERINGS, GLPA 2015 TO GLPA 2016
Robert C. Victor
retired, Abrams Planetarium
P.O. Box 1626
Palm Springs, California 92263
 
Abstract: In 2015-2016, the five naked-eye planets often separate into groups, where several may be seen in the morning sky, and one or none in the evening, or the reverse, where several or all may gather in the evening. In morning twilight from October 2015 until early March 2016, there are intervals when four or even five naked-eye planets may be viewed simultaneously. From March 2016, through spring and summer, and tapering off in October, we see much action in the evening sky. 
 
 
ASTRONOMY, HONG KONG STYLE
Dave Weinrich
Minnesota State University Moorhead, retired
1813 12th St. S
Moorhead, Minnesota 56560
 
Abstract: With Hong Kong being one of the world’s largest cities and having a lot of light pollution, you might think that it would be difficult to do astronomy there. Amateurs and professionals have found some innovative ways to popularize astronomy, some of which may be applicable in other countries. 
 
 
HIYA, SOFIA!
April S. Whitt
Fernbank Science Center
156 Heaton Park Drive NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30307
 
Abstract: Colleague Susan Oltman and I were selected as Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors earlier this year. We flew with researchers in September, and have a wealth of information and resources to share. 
 
 
USING ROCKETS TO TEACH MATH
Colleen Zeglin
Casper Planetarium
904 N Poplar St.
Casper, Wyoming 82601
 
Abstract: Teaching space science from pre-K to second graders is a challenge. Incorporating space science and math, these young students can learn new concepts. Using various size rockets in pictures, students observe and organize the different sizes. This paper will take you through a step-by-step process, keeping students engaged while learning about rockets and the concept of organizing them from tallest to shortest. 
 
 

Posters:

 
 
USING DIPLAY CASES TO INVENT THE “MINI-MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY”
Susan C. Batson
W. Brayton Batson

Digital Immersion Theater and Planetarium North
Hills High School
53 Rochester Road
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15229
 
Abstract: In order to increase attendance and interest in our evening planetarium shows, we decided to put some unused hallway display cases to use. In this poster, I will show photos of some of our displays and bring to light some of our successes and challenges. Hopefully this will inspire you to create some interest and utilize unused spaces in your facility. 
 
 
THE CONVERSION OF NORTH HILLS OPTO-MECHANICAL PLANETARIUM TO THE DIGITAL IMMERSION THEATER AND PLANETARIUM
Susan C. Batson
W. Brayton Batson

Digital Immersion Theater and Planetarium
North Hills High School
53 Rochester Road
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15229
 
Abstract: The North Hills High School Planetarium was built with our school building in 1969- 72, with a Spitz A-4 RPY projector. In 1999, Ash Enterprises remodeled the Planetarium, adding automation to the Spitz projector with East Coast Controls. In June of 2015, the Spitz projector was removed and a Zeta Digitarium installed, along with a change from incandescent lighting to LED cove lights. This poster shows before and after pictures, and some of the process of remodeling. 
 
 
CERNAN CENTER 3.0: STAR PROJECTOR INSTALLATION AND THEATER RENOVATION
Bart Benjamin
Cernan Earth & Space Center
Triton College
2000 Fifth Avenue River Grove, Illinois 60171
 
Abstract: The Cernan Earth & Space Center of Triton College recently saw the installation of a Super MediaGlobe II fulldome projection system and the renovation of its theater and lobby. These dramatic enhancements were funded by Triton College’s decision to sell bonds to support a wide range of campus renovations and improvements. These recent upgrades come 31 years after the construction of the current Cernan Center building (a.k.a. Cernan Center 2.0) and 41 years after the previous facility first opened (a.k.a. Cernan Center 1.0) in 1974. 
 
 
FIRST MIDNIGHT: CELEBRATING HISTORY THROUGH STARLIGHT
Chuck Bueter 
15893 Ashville Ln.
Granger, Indiana 46530
 
Abstract: As South Bend, Indiana celebrates its sesquicentennial (dubbed SB150) in 2015, the First Midnight initiative recognizes that half of all history has occurred between sunset and sunrise. A variety of community projects during the anniversary year embrace the night sky, with the poster topics including Crosswalk, an anniversary star eld painted on the road; Birthday Star, featuring the star Eltanin in Draco at 150 light years away; Scope Out South Bend, a scavenger hunt with Galileoscopes loaned by libraries; SB150 Young Astronomers, a project in which local youths operate a global network of telescopes; and 2015 Outreach, a list of other astronomy outreach in the context of the SB150 celebration. Details at www.nightwise.org.
 
 
ONE YEAR WITH THE DIGISTAR CLOUD
Joe Childers
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Pkwy
Dayton, Ohio 45414
 
Abstract: The Digistar Cloud is a new feature for Digistar 5 that facilitates sharing content between sites. The Boonshoft Museum has been heavily involved with the Cloud this past year, starting with beta testing in spring of 2014 and continuing to the present day with over 30 projects from our site submitted to the Cloud. We have benefited greatly from our participation in the Cloud and hope that its usage will increase at other Digistar sites. 
 
 
THE GLPA BIKE TEAM
David A. DeRemer
Charles Horwitz Planetarium
S14 W28167 Madison Street
Waukesha, WI 53188
 
Abstract: This poster displays one of the most wonderful effects of joining the Great Lakes Planetarium Association ... FRIENDSHIPS. 
 
 
DR. STRANGEDOME OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING ABOUT NOT HAVING FULLDOME DIGITAL AND TO KEEP LOVING OPTO-MECHANICAL PLANETARIUM PROJECTORS
Anna Rebecca Green
Planetarium Manager
James S. McDonnell Planetarium
Saint Louis Science Center
5050 Oakland Ave.
Saint Louis, Missouri 63110
 
Abstract: The pressure to convert planetaria to the biggest, brightest, and best fulldome digital planetarium systems with the highest resolution has never been greater, especially for those planetaria still running opto-mechanical systems. Fulldome digital systems, however, may not be readily available to a planetarium at present, due to budgetary constraints, higher priority issues with the physical plant, or a lack of other resources such as time. It is not necessary though, to completely disregard a planetarium’s current analog system, which can be just as effective when used competently and creatively. While fulldome digital may still be desired as an end goal, it is important to explore the different ways that opto-mechanical systems are not only still relevant, but also effective with today’s planetarium audiences. 
 
 
GEEKFEST -- AN EVENT THAT CAN BRING NEW FACES TO YOUR FACILITY
Jason Heaton
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Parkway
Dayton, Ohio 45414
 
Abstract: The Astronomy Department at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton, Ohio created an event this year called GeekFest. We modeled our event after Central Texas College’s very successful event, also called Geekfest. Our event was similar to a family friendly comic convention. The one night event hosted a video game competition, a costume contest, geek Jeopardy, a show comparing real planets to the planets of Star Wars, one of our feature planetarium shows, local comic book vendors, a board gaming room, prize giveaways, and head mounted display exhibitions. Our first time event brought almost 500 people of all ages into our department for a very fun evening. We will certainly host this event again and would be glad to share what we learned about hosting an event such as this to other institutions. 
 
 
PREPARE FOR CHAOS
Arlyn Trout
Emily Porter
Greyson Kirov
David W. Hurd

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
169 Cooper Hall
Edinboro, Pennsylvania 16444
 
Abstract: Creating CHAOS at your facility can be fun and provide a constant stream of able- bodied volunteers. At Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, a recently renovated science hall became the birthplace of CHAOS. The building where the planetarium and natural history museum are found bears the name Cooper Hall. About 3 years ago an ambitious student had the foresight to come up with the acronym CHAOS, which stands for Cooper Hall’s Ambassadors Of Science. It quickly became a training ground for volunteers looking to hone their presentation skills on K-12 visitors to the museum and planetarium. Docents training docents is nothing new, and really what may be the hardest part of starting a program similar to CHAOS is to create a moniker that can stand on its own and draw in the inquisitive docent want-to-be! This poster explores a little of the history and current mission of this student-led organization on the campus of Edinboro University.
 
 
2D IMAGE TIPS USING BLENDER
Waylena McCully
William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Ave.
Champaign, IL 61821
 
Abstract: Blender isn’t just for making animations! See examples of using Blender for enhancing, warping, and adapting 2D images and image sequences using Blender’s Material and Compositing Nodes.
 
 
VISUALIZING TITAN IN 360 VR/DOME
Patrick McPike
Adler Planetarium
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605
 
Abstract: While creating the visualization of Titan’s lake Ligeia Mare we focused not just on the science, but also on the art and the story. Only by combining all three elements can you create a compelling science visualization.
 
 
SPHERICAL RENDERING METHODS WITH BLENDER
Ron Proctor
Clark Planetarium
110 South 400 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
 
Abstract: Blender, a free, open source 3D software for modeling and animation, can be used to create fulldome content. An overview of Blender’s spherical rendering methods are presented. 
 
 

Workshops:

 
 
GLIPSA PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP
Organized and hosted by: 
Karrie Berglund
Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc.
817 Pacific Avenue
Bremerton, Washington 98337
 
Abstract: This all day workshop was intended to give GLPA attendees a sense of what happens at the annual Live Interactive Planetarium Symposium (LIPS). LIPS is a multi-day gathering that focuses on all facets of live programming: presentation skills; sample activities; etc. GLIPSA was open to anyone registered to attend GLPA. As with LIPS, ideas and content presented at GLIPSA applied to everyone who does live shows, no matter whether those shows are in a portable dome or fixed, with a digital system or starball. 2015 was the third GLIPSA and the first one that sold out: there were 41 attendees.
 
 
IPS VISION 2020 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
Karrie Berglund
Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc.
817 Pacific Avenue
Bremerton, Washington 98337
 
Waylena McCully
Staerkel Planetarium
Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Ave
Champaign, Illinois 61821
 
Abstract: This workshop explored the results of an online survey posted in spring, 2015 to gather information about professional development needs and desires for the International Planetarium Society’s Vision 2020 initiative. IPS Vision 2020 Professional Development team members Karrie Berglund and Waylena McCully presented the results of each of the 12 survey questions, with audience participation throughout. Discussions included what topics were requested, methods of presenting professional development, the desire to edit/repost the survey in order to gather different information, and more. • After the presentation of the survey results, participants discussed as a large group particularly valuable professional development opportunities they had attended, along with what made those opportunities so valuable. • The final part of the workshop was dedicated to reimagining a planetarium conference. The audience worked in small groups to design a planetarium conference from the ground up, then presented their ideas to the entire group. 
 
 
ILLUMINATING DARK MATTER
Dragan Huterer
Department of Physics
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
 
Abstract: The vast majority of our universe is not ordinary matter. The atoms and molecules with which we are familiar only account for about 5% of the cosmos. We will delve into the details of how experimentalists are trying to directly detect dark matter, and discuss and explore what we know about this mysterious substance. How do we know it exists? Why haven’t we “seen” it yet? 
 
 
WHAT’S THE STORY? (*EVENING GLORY!)
Gary Lazich
Adler Planetarium
924 Ridge Square, Apt. 203
Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007
 
Abstract: The ongoing debates over live shows vs. recorded ones and multimedia projection vs. full- dome often overlook the most crucial elements of a planetarium show—the story and the storyteller. This workshop will afford participants the opportunity to practice their listening and telling skills, tell stories about themselves as planetarians, discover the qualities that make for effective stories and tellings, and create original stories about current topics in astronomy and space exploration. Parti- pants will receive information about The Art of Storytelling (one of The Great Courses) and a list of references for continuing education. 
 
 
GETTING READY FOR THE BIG ONE: ECLIPSE 2017
Ken Miller
GOTO, Inc.
8060 Clearwater Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana 46256
 
Abstract: The last American planetarian “host” of a total solar eclipse was Ken Miller, while at Honolulu’s Bishop Museum in July 1991. Recap his lessons learned from that eclipse, and prepare for the next one. All of your community will see this eclipse, either partial or total, so how can you help them prepare to view it while protecting their eyes? Learn the smart, free, effective replacement for the frustrating pinhole/cardboard box viewer. Here’s your chance to “make hay while the sun shines!” 
 
 
ENGINEERING DESIGN CHALLENGE: GAINING TRACTION ON MARS
Dayna Thompson
Charles W. Brown Planetarium
Ball State University
2000 W. Riverside Ave.
Muncie, Indiana 47306
 
Sarah Komperud
Bell Museum of Natural History
10 Church St SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
 
Paulette Auchtung
Michigan Science Center
5020 John R St.
Detroit, Michigan 40202
 
Abstract: The Mars Curiosity Rover is seeing considerably more damage to its wheels than anticipated. This problem led to the creation of NASA’s Engineering Design Challenge: Gaining Traction on Mars. The design challenge is intended for students at various grade levels. During this workshop, participants will learn how to build their own Martian rover (to take home) and test it on a simulated extraterrestrial soil bed. Participants will also learn about the inner workings of the vehicle through four lead-up investigations. These activities are designed to align directly with the Next Generation Science Standards and were developed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.