GLPA Conference Proceedings: 2019

Proceedings Editor:  Dale W. Smith, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio.
GLPA Members:  You can download these Proceedings using the following link. Note that you must be logged in to download the PDF file.
*** 2019 Proceedings PDF ***
NEW FOR 2019:
Click on the title of each paper/poster/workshop below for a PDF offprint of that individual paper/poster/workshop.
Non-members:  You can order a PDF of this Proceedings ($3) through the online store.
Below are the titles and abstracts for the Invited Speakers, Contributed Papers, Workshops, and Posters presented during the 2019 GLPA Conference. Click on any title to read or download that PDF offprint.
Invited Speakers
Abstract: Astronomy has changed in many ways over the past 50 years. With regular availability of space-based telescopes and instruments, from the large and powerful to the small and clever, astronomers have never had such an amazing suite of tools with which to explore the universe. From the ground, new telescopes and techniques are opening new areas of research. The development of high-quality off-the-shelf equipment has allowed more amateur astronomers to make significant contributions to the field. Citizen Science projects are bringing everyone into astronomy and encouraging them to join in the grand endeavor to understand the universe.
Robert C. Dempsey
Abstract: Picture NASA’s famed Mission Control Center and you think of men and women quietly sitting around computer consoles. Calmly sitting there whether vehicles are hurtling towards each other at thousands of miles per hour for a docking of two vehicles in orbit, perhaps not even from the same country. Tranquilly monitoring their data as a spacewalk is conducted to keep the International Space Station operating. Quietly controlling the vehicle as emergency alarms on the spacecraft are annunciating in red and yellow on the computers of the control room. But what is not seen is the years these women and men prepared for that mission. Designing the spacecraft. Developing the plans and procedures to operate it. Training. From the Earth to low Earth orbit. This talk will present some of the stories of these tough and competent people as they prepare for these different operations.
Abstract: In this interactive session, participants had the opportunity to reflect on challenges they have faced during instruction and identify potential solutions for creating more inclusive, engaging learning environments rooted in best practices. Issues of identity and bias were also addressed.
Shannon Schmoll
Abstract: There is constantly news coming out of the astronomy world to pique people’s interest in what is happening in our vast universe. It is our job as planetarians to help tell those stories and offer context to our general public. This talk will help offer that context for some stories that we may be asked about, have been in the news quite a bit, or haven’t been in the news as much as they should have been. I also offer a broader context for why these are important stories and how they fit into the larger picture of astronomy research and education. Included this year is a discussion of the first all-female space-walk at the International Space Station, Jupiter’s shrinking red spot, the citizen funded LightSail 2 mission, the first astrophysical detection of the first molecule, an impossible white dwarf, Saturn’s new moons, a really puffy hot Jupiter exoplanet, the first image of a black hole’s shadow, and some broader context of where observatories sit in light of the controversy over the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.
I BELIEVE — IN STUPIDITY (And I’m Here to Prove It)
2019 Armand Spitz Lecture
Gary Tomlinson
Abstract: In this talk, you’ll learn Gary’s opinion on what makes a good planetarium show, the difference between a movie and a planetarium show, the need for questioning and observation, myths and beliefs, and some of his favorite things.
Contributed Papers
Abstract: It is not uncommon in the effort to present data that the notion of absolute standards is brought up. When art and science are coming together in the task of visualizing space and time it is a good idea to use precise words that avoid obstacles between disciplines. Standards do not exist in design but there are guidelines for when there is nobody to articulate visual perception and prevent contradictions. While safe, guidelines produce less memorable planetarium experiences, excessively toning down the saliency of the data. This presentation will cite examples that promote better collaborations among seasoned professionals.
Abstract: As we observe in our domes, many adult visitors want the Planetarium experience to go further. To meet this demand, we recently offered a 5-week course called Deep Space. The class met for 2 hours one night a week. It sold out in a few weeks and was a nice revenue generator.

Susan Reynolds Button
Abstract: What is holding you back from the adventure of a lifetime? You simply can’t be a shy homebody and also be a planetarian can you? Too busy? Just can’t get organized? Come listen to my offers and be motivated to get it together and take the risk!
Abstract: The UWM Planetarium collaborated with units across campus to make the historic Apollo landing anniversary relevant today. I will discuss lessons learned from an effort to make the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 engaging and timely for all audiences.

Paulette Epstein
Abstract: The Michigan Science Center teamed up with Detroit Public Television to present a program called “Read Under the Stars” with some help from SuperWhy, of course. This paper outlines the science behind the program and how we can work together to get early learners excited about science and literacy.
Abstract: This paper will discuss current demographics of the planetarium community and how we can change the landscape. It will also discuss why diversity and inclusion is important in our community.
Abstract: Since 14 July 2018 the INTENSE program at the Stiftung Planetarium Berlin (SPB— the Foundation of Berlin Planetariums) has been funded by the Senate Administration for Education, Youth, and Families in Berlin. The program brings our Mobile Science Theater to schools within Berlin that cannot commute to one of our permanent planetariums. The program, however, is more than a typical mobile planetarium. This paper shares how INTENSE engages students, provides teacher development, and advances students who fall under the category of Begabungförderung (development interested and/or talented in STEM subjects), as well as lessons learned as the program continues to grow.

Howard Hale and Nishan Adhikari
Abstract: A big part of working in the planetarium field is being able to adapt to your community. Learning how to utilize your planetarium in ways that aren’t astronomy- related can be a vital component in increasing your presence in the community. Events such as holiday and movie-themed shows, live demos, and many other activities can help bring a new element under the dome. Being under the dome is an experience and we have the power to decide which experience to deliver.
Abstract: Morrison Planetarium and the California Academy of Sciences have been partners on the American Museum of Natural History in New York’s OpenSpace software development project, a project largely funded by NASA. We will review some of our experiences so far implementing the free software for public floor programs, specialty planetarium lectures, and regular daily shows, including both the technical hurdles of still-developing software and connecting it to the educational and entertainment desires of our audiences.

Elainie C. Huncik and Ginny L. Phillips
Abstract: How can we engage our youngest audiences at our planetarium shows? We discuss how to captivate younger audiences using a balance between education and entertainment. We focus on using characters and personalities to not only entertain and hold the attention of our youngest viewers, but also to help them retain information that is conveyed in our shows.
Abstract: With support from NASA, The College of Charleston, and Edinboro University, we were able to create another tactile book commemorating the 50th anniversaries of the Apollo landings. This book uses the original diagrams from our previous book, “Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters,” with an additional section highlighting the Apollo missions.

Abstract: How many times have you overheard a guest saying “wouldn’t it be cool to watch a movie in here?” Your facility may already have the license to show popular mainstream movies. Even If not, there is a cost-effective way to bring this additional fun revenue stream to your dome. I will demonstrate what we did with movie release parties to raise extra money.

Renae S. Kerrigan, Shannon Schmoll and Tiffany Stone Wolbrecht
Abstract: Big Astronomy is a National Science Foundation funded project to explore the Dome+ model -— a planetarium show distributed for a minimal fee in both English and Spanish, plus a website that hosts resources and live programs to extend the learning beyond the dome. Research on the effectiveness of this method will be carried out by Michigan State University. Big Astronomy I Astronomia a Gran Escala will share the story of the people and places who make big astronomy happen. Learn more about the project and the resources that will be available to your planetarium in this presentation.
Abstract: Through the efforts of the Champaign County Forest Preserve, the Staerkel Planetarium, and the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society, we now have the very first (and only) Dark Sky Park in Illinois in Champaign County. This paper will detail the process of working with the International Dark Sky Association to secure Dark Sky Park status for the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve and what you can do to get a Dark Sky Park near you!
Abstract: The Cernan Earth and Space Center has been busy over the last year working on a wide range of projects involving BSA, FLL, DMX, E&S, MSFC, WTTW, W2W, and more.
Abstract: Modern teaching strategies, like active learning, have consistently shown to move students toward a better and longer-lasting understanding in classrooms, yet are active learning approaches observed among planetarium educators’ instructional practices? Because of the nature of planetarium learning environments, could assessment conversations serve as a pathway for planetarium educators to guide the teaching and learning process. Ruiz-Primo and Furtak (2006, 2007) developed a coding scheme to analyze assessment conversations known as the ESRU cycle. This study applies their coding scheme to planetarium presentations to analyze the presence of active learning in terms of this ESRU cycle.
Abstract: The staff of the Minnesota State University Moorhead Planetarium developed a new show series to encourage repeat attendance and serve our families with younger children. The show, called Solar System Explorers, used a rewards-like system involving “passports”, stickers, a certificate of achievement, and iron-on patches. This show is a four-part series exploring each planet, some moons, and a few dwarf planets. It was a huge success in our dome and we’d love to share what we did with the community.
Abstract: An essay written for my 50th college reunion book. It describes advances in astronomy and planetary science since 1970 and considers the challenges to science education in America.
Abstract: In spring 2018 and 2019, we ran festivals of dozens of classic shows from our thirty years of operation prior to going fulldome, including both purchased shows and shows created at BGSU. All these shows had been digitized to run on our Spitz SciDome XD system. Strong attendance showed audience interest in these classic shows on a wide range of topics.
Abstract: The explosive growth of U.S. planetarium facilities in schools and small museums in the 1950s and 1960s was largely driven by Armand Spitz and his revolutionary pinhole projectors beginning with the Model A. Perhaps the most abundant Spitz planetarium model is the Spitz Junior. This projector might never have reached the market but for a would- be competitor, the Schultz, Jr. projector. This paper describes the Schultz, Jr. planetarium projector and its remarkable inventor, William Schultz, Jr.
Abstract: From one newbie to another, yes, you really can capture your own fulldome content and create specialized programming to captivate unique and local audiences. With the development of VR technology, it has never been easier! This paper will highlight some of the low-cost camera equipment and software options available along with tips to get started.
Abstract: This 45-minute workshop was intended to share ideas for giving and receiving constructive feedback for live, interactive planetarium presentations.

Karrie Berglund
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. 2019 was the seventh GLIPSA, and there were 32 registered attendees.

Jeanne Bishop, Robert Bonadurer, Katharine Downing, Robin Gill and Sara Schultz
Abstract: Last year Jeanne Bishop published an article in the IPS Education Committee Planetarian column “Seeking What Works.” This is a discussion of ways that a number of planetarians have adjusted showings of their pre-recorded programs to fit the needs of different groups. These procedures include students of different ages, community groups, and groups with special needs. In this panel, experienced presenters will continue the discussion with ways to adapt full-dome shows to their different audiences. Audience interaction and discussion will follow.

Jeanne Bishop, Mark SubbaRao, Dayna Thompson and Sharon Shanks
Abstract: The International Planetarium Society (IPS) has recently produced two new documents both titled “The Value of the Planetarium in Education.” How the two versions of the document, now available for use, were prepared, elaboration of the individual points made in the document sections, and where to access the document will discussed by the panel. Attendees will receive a copy of the one-page version. Sharon Shanks will describe how planetarium/astronomy research in recent years has added substance to statements about the educational value of planetariums.
Abstract: The interest in astronomy education research is growing, and has transformed over the past decade (or basically since the turn of the century) to include more qualitative studies. The questions being asked have gone from “is the planetarium an effective teaching tool” to “why is the planetarium an effective teaching tool.” In addition, a move to include grey literature as acceptable research sources has opened up a way for planetarians who are not astronomy education researchers to share their observations and insights. We planetarians need to take advantage of this open door and pro-actively contribute to the field.
Abstract: This short course demonstrates many of the favourites I have developed using Starry Night in Spitz SciDome. These cover applications to stars and the solar system and can be useful in a wide range of teaching and show modes. Besides common topics such as the stars and Sun at different latitudes, some less common topics include the sky in the far past or future, the analemma, a circumpolar moon, Phobos and Deimos in the Martian sky, the Sun seen from Uranus and Pluto, Venus in the Mayan sky, and more. SciDome users can get a complete set of these favourites.
Susan Batson and W. Brayton Batson
Abstract: Sometimes technology challenges planetarians—hardware and software sometimes fail. We are in an awkward position—we have no stars! But, we are anxious to teach students. Last year we had a program set up with the elementary school’s technology specialist (Librarian), putting third, fourth, and fifth graders into groups, and having them build constellation projectors from oatmeal boxes. Students wrote stories, told them in the planetarium dome, and then listened to several stories about the constellations. This is how it turned out.
Abstract: This paper talks about four big astronomical observing events that are coming in the future. These are observing opportunities you should prepare for and teach your audiences about. The four are: The Jupiter and Saturn conjunction in 2020, the Solar Eclipse in 2024, the Five Planet Gathering in 2040, Halley’s Comet in 2061.
Abstract: In 2017 Morrison Planetarium premiered two restructured school shows for third to eighth grade students focused on new NGSS national standards. This poster will explore how these shows have been received by students and teachers in the last two years. It will also aim to open up conversations with conference attendees assessing the ways they have utilized Morrison’s shared school show scripts or assets, and explore potential methods to improve the shows in the coming years.

April Whitt
Abstract: Fernbank Science Center offers outreach programs in local schools. This lesson for third graders incorporates science standards for their grade level with hands-on STEM skills. Students work with model street lights to design fully-shielded fixtures. The lesson has been very well received, both by students and teachers.
Abstract: Upgrades in computer and sound to the Newhard Planetarium along with outreach partners have allowed for growth in visitors to the planetarium. We have partnered with Mazza’s Children Museum, Hancock County Libraries, and a local American Chemical Society chapter. New events include Funday Sunday, story time under the stars, Harry Potter and the stars, how stars are the makers of elements/periodic table, and chemistry of space with NASA. We have also integrated student workers and added other volunteer faculty to help with the outreach.