GLPA Conference Proceedings: 1997

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

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Title Author Year Abstract
DRAGONS AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE! Collins, Dr. George W. II 1997 Abstract: In which we attempt to convince the reader that the Universe is not the way it appears. The overall geometry is not that of Euclid, but is rather the geometry of space-time which has some peculiar properties. Looking out into the night sky, one looks back in time ultimately toward the origin of the Universe. That point in space-time is seen in any direction if one can look back approximately 12 to 15 billion years. Thus that point in space-time is mapped over the entire sky and clearly shows that the geometry of space-time is not that of Euclid. However, if one insists on imposing the geometry of Euclid on the Universe then he will be stuck with the concept of an "edge" just as 15th century man was with the notion of a flat earth. This leads to the unanswerable question "what lies beyond the edge?" We try here to replace that question with a more meaningful one and explore the consequences if that is not done.
CREATING AND PRESENTING CONSTELLATION OVERLAYS DeRemer, David 1997 Abstract: This poster display describes a method of photographing and projecting correct sized constellation overlays. Projection grids and copies of constellation characters are available upon request.
THE MULTIWAVELENGTH MILKY WAY Digel, Seth Landis, Rob Leisawitz, David 1997 Abstract: The Milky Way Galaxy is generally considered to be an Sbc-type galaxy. We view our Galaxy nearly edge-on from our perspective nearly 28,000 light years from the Galactic center. In recent years, thanks to space-based astronomical instruments, the electromagnetic spectrum has opened up incredibly. A series of of images of the Galactic plane, prepared by NASA's Astrophysics Data Facility, are presented. This unique set of images are available through the National Space Science Data Center at Goddard Space Flight Center.
REMINISCING: SELECTED PERSONAL EXPERIENCES BENEATH THE BIG AND SMALL SKIES 1997 ARMAND N. SPITZ LECTURE Emmons, Prof. Richard 1997 Abstract: The speaker recalls personal experiences selected from his multi-faceted 65-year career as an astronomy student, teacher, planetarian, and aerospace engineer. Two of his 27 slides are of letters received from Armand Spitz and Albert Einstein. Also appearing briefly in his script are such names as Heber D. Curtis, Fred Whipple, Ira Bowen, Allen Hynek, Leslie Peltier, and Orson Welles.
STRASENBURGH PLANETARIUM UPDATE Fentress, Steve 1997 Abstract: As it approaches age 30, Strasenburgh Planetarium is changing to adapt to changes in its social, political, educational and philanthropic environment. Trends include current-events star shows, 8/70 films, educational laser shows, collaboration with scientists, better school reservation services, new volunteer and intern programs, and a Challenger Center.
MY PLANETARIUM SHRUNK! Forror, David 1997 Abstract: After 20+ years in a 76-seat, 9-meter dome, A3P facility, now I have a Starlab. Methods and materials - some new, some borrowed, some revamped for use - will be presented in this challenging venue.
MINI-DISCOVERY CENTERS Forror, Doris 1997 Abstract: The Mini-Discovery Centers are table-top, hands-on exhibits which focus on a single subject, e.g. electricity, mirrors, gravity, or color. They provide opportunities for tactile learners and can be used in entrance halls of small planetaria.
BIRTHDAY PLANET POSITION EXERCISE Francetic, Dan 1997 Abstract: This exercise uses data from the Macintosh computer program, Voyager II, to enable students to plot the positions of the planets in their orbits for the students' birthdays. They must measure angles between the Sun and each planet. They then can answer questions dealing with such things as the planets in the morning sky, nighttime sky, closest to conjunctions, oppositions and various other significant planet positions. Sky printouts from Voyager II can then be used to check student results.
EUCLID STUDENTS TALK TO DISCOVERY CREW Francetic, Dan 1997 Abstract: In July of 1995, seven Euclid students talked to an astronaut via ham radio while she was orbiting over South Africa. She is the daughter of a Euclid second grade teacher and has talked to Euclid students on three different occasions. Such an event involves an entire school district and an entire community. Local ham radio people made this event possible. The project is called SAREX and is run through AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation.
CLYDE TOMBAUGH Francetic, Dan 1997 Abstract: Clyde Tombaugh passed away early in 1997. He was the discoverer of the planet Pluto. His brother lived in the Cleveland area, and his sister-in-law taught chemistry for many years at Euclid High School. She gave me the articles, pictures, and a Clyde Tombaugh-autographed, annotated, and signed scale model of the solar system using the earth as a 1" diameter object which I used in the poster display.
SAGA OF SIBERIA'S PALLAS METEORITE Gallant, Prof. Roy 1997 Abstract: In July 1997, the author organized a six-person expedition to the remote mountain site of the fall of the world's most famous meteorite, the Pallas Iron. The 1.5-ton meteorite fell in south-central Siberia without leaving a crater. It was discovered in 1794, and subsequently it was instrumental in the establishment of the science of meteorites in the 1800s.
HANDS-ON ASTRONOMY ACTIVITIES Gardner, Michael 1997 Abstract: On July 1, 1994, the Longway Planetarium became part of the Flint Cultural Center Corporation. The resulting move in the change in governance and philosophy has changed the Planetarium's role in the educational process. This coupled with the added competition of other venues for "field trip" options and the Michigan State emphasis on science goals and objectives is changing the manner in which the Longway Planetarium will offer its programs. One such aspect is in the pre and post visit materials. This talk will detail the reasons for this change, to include techniques for classroom exercises based upon the Flint Cultural Center School. A reference listing of materials and sample activities will be distributed.
OHIO'S METEOR CRATER? Grossenbacher, Roger 1997 Abstract: Evidence is presented regarding the meteoric origin of the Serpent Mound Crypto-explosive structure in southern Ohio.
METEORITES, MARTIANS, AND MICROBES: MARS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE Harvey, Dr. Ralph 1997 Abstract: Our fascination with Mars has never been greater than it is right now, as fantastic new images and data from spacecraft galvanize public attention. The current excitement began last summer when NASA researchers announced that they had found possible traces of ancient Martian life-forms in the Antarctic meteorite ALH84001, and has continued with the robotic rovings of Pathfinder and Global Surveyor. All of these studies have revealed just how important the martian meteorites are in our understanding of the red planet, serving as the critical "ground truth" link between remote observations and the physical reality of a geologically active and alien world. This presentation will discuss what the martian meteorites tell us about Mars as well as the claims concerning the possibility of life on that planet.
FOLLOW THE LEADER: IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE Hurd, Dr. David 1997 Abstract: The effectiveness of a novel setting, such as a planetarium, can be enhanced by the type of facilitator present. This paper presents evidence supporting the increased effectiveness of trained classroom teachers OVER a planetarian while presenting a lesson. This evidence comes from the results of a study conducted at the Edinboro University Planetarium during the 1996-1997 school year. Implications of this study will be discussed and recommendations given for both portable and permanent planetarium facilities.
OH-OH! I SHRANK THE STUDENTS James, Wayne 1997 Abstract: A lesson combining a reconciled globe to the STARLAB showing the effect of change in latitude ... pole to pole. A reconciled globe lesson attempts to combine the student's knowledge of being somewhere on the Earth with where that would be on a globe. Changing latitude from NP to SP shows a dramatic difference in how the sky would appear.
EXPANDING ONE'S UNIVERSE WITHOUT THE HUBBLE CONSTANT Kaelin, Roy 1997 Abstract: The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Illinois, continues to expand its universe, with bright future prospects of more and better sky shows, more exhibit space, and programmatic educational opportunities for members and visitors alike.
SUMMER COURSE IN PLANETARIUM OPERATIONS Kaitchuck, Ronald 1997 Abstract: Ball State University's summer course called Instruments and Techniques in Planetarium Operations will be described. This 5-day, hands-on workshop is for individuals seeking to use their planetarium facility more effectively. Topics include production of programs, slides, special effects, and machine calibration and maintenance.
ASTRONOMY UPDATE 1997 Kaler, Dr. James 1997 Abstract: From the Moon to the distant Universe, astronomers solved some mysteries, puzzled over others, and found new ones to examine. Mars revealed some of its secrets thanks to the Pathfinder mission, and the Universe became more understandable as the values of the Hubble constant and age approached consensus, we began to understand the formation of galaxies, and gamma ray bursts were seen optically. In between we delighted in a comet of the century, asteroids that act like comets and vice versa, the extension of the Solar System deeper into the Kuiper belt, new extrasolar planets, high-resolution probing of stars, an antimatter cloud near the galactic center, massive galactic black holes, and puzzlement about matter that falls into galaxies.
THROUGH THE EYE OF STARDIAL Kaler, Dr. James 1997 Abstract: An automated camera at the University of Illinois aimed 4.5° south of the equator point takes a 5 X 8° CCD picture of the sky every 15 minutes, the images archived on the Web. With it you can follow numerous variable stars and see a variety of Solar System bodies move through the field of view.
INTERACTIVE LONG DISTANCE TELECOMMUNICATIONS REGARDING APOLLO 13 ASTRONAUT FRED HAISE Klinger, Art 1997 Abstract: This presentation will include a five minute video, a brief overview on the use of teleconferencing technology, and Q and A from the audience. I will highlight the long distance teleconferencing events involving the May 2, 1997 visit to the PHM School District by Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise.
ONE IDEA BEGETS ANOTHER: SIMPLE (CHEAP) TRICKS, TECHNIQUES, AND LESSONS OF THE TRADE Klinger, Art 1997 Abstract: We each have simple tricks, techniques, and lessons that we present in the Planetarium that are cheap and easy to set up - things like real snow to make a comet nucleus; a squirt gun with sound effects to simulate a rain storm; and using your dome as the Sun to make comparisons with the sizes of the planets, comets, and other stars. Those are just a few of the ideas that will be presented in this paper.
CONSTELLATIONS FOR SECOND GRADERS: A HANDS-ON APPROACH IN THE PLANETARIUM Laatsch, Shawn 1997 Abstract: Our school district believes in hands-on science as their teaching approach. A new second grade lesson was needed that engaged students in exploring the constellations. To implement it I designed "constellation boxes".
RETURN TO THE RED PLANET (or, My Summer on Mars) Landis, Dr. Geoffrey 1997 Abstract: Mars is one of the most interesting planets in the solar system, featuring enormous canyons, giant volcanoes, and signs that, early in its history, it might have had rivers and perhaps even oceans. In July, the Pathfinder mission landed on Mars, bringing with it the microwave-oven sized Sojourner rover to rove around on the surface and analyze rocks. Among the experiments on the mission was an experiment designed here at NASA Lewis to analyze dust deposition. Pathfinder is only the first of an armada of spacecraft which will examine Mars from the pole to the equator in the next decade, culminating (we hope!) with a mission to bring humans to Mars.
THE RUSSIAN REAL STUFF: BAIKONUR TODAY Landis, Rob 1997 Abstract: For over 40 years, the Baikonur Cosmodrome has been the starting blocks for more than 1,000 space missions. The world's oldest space launch complex continues to be vital for not only new commercial space ventures but essential for the construction of the International Space Station.
A "NEW" USE FOR THE DOME .... FOOTBALL! Leake, David 1997 Abstract: The Staerkel Planetarium performed an "experiment" earlier this year by conducting an event in conjunction with the Super Bowl. This presentation will detail how that was accomplished, including a videotape done by a local television station.
ASTRONOMICAL HUMOR Leake, David 1997 Abstract: This poster will serve as a "call for help" in categorizing the humor that is used in planetariums and in astronomy classes. We are looking for one-liners, jokes, silly constellation overlays, and instructional funny stories that will be assembled into a new TIPS booklet.
COOPERATIVE ACTIVITES BETWEEN COLLEGE AND PRE-SECONDARY SCHOOLS USING FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD Lightner, Samuel Hill, Eugene 1997 Abstract: At Westminster College activities using "Follow the Drinking Gourd" were developed to engage college elementary education majors in a Science Methods class with students in local pre-secondary schools. These activities included visits by the college students to the school classes followed by a visit by the class to the college for planetarium and other science activities.
SO YOU WANT TO BUILD A PLANETARIUM? Likert, Gary 1997 Abstract: Home-built planetariums were pioneered by visionaries like Richard Emmons. Learn how the purchase of one of Richard's star balls led to the Home Planetarium Association, and see a home machine in action.
TEARS OF FIRE AND DRUMS IN THE DOME Meyers, Carrie 1997 Abstract: This is a showcase of a special program on Africa. The planetarium show "Tears of Fire" features a collection of stories from all over the continent. "Drums in the Dome" was a live drum and dance concert featuring students, costumes, lights, and lots of drums!
GALILEO TO JUPITER AND CASSINI TO SATURN Motes, Peggy 1997 Abstract: The poster includes Galileo and Cassini Mission Objectives and information about how to receive your copy of the Teacher's guide for each mission.
SEVEN SISTERS? BROTHERS? EGGS? Neff, Georgia 1997 Abstract: One of the star groups easiest to recognize, the Pleiades have been the subject of stories from many different cultures. Compare views of the sky through the eyes of storytellers. (This is taken from a presentation developed for a mythology class.)
COMING ATTRACTIONS: PREVIEWS OF 1998's BEST SKY SIGHTS Nerdahl, Rodney 1997 Abstract: Using computer-generated illustrations, the author will show what some of 1998's best naked-eye sky events will look like-including Mercury's most favorable apparitions, eye-catching conjunctions of the Moon with the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and prospects for the November 1998 Leonid meteor shower. A handout summarizing major 1998 sky events will be available to conferees.
DIFFERENTIAL INSTRUCTION Nissen, Barbara 1997 Abstract: A brief overview of differential teaching describes a strategy teachers can use in response to student diversity in the classroom. Examples include "Elements and Compounds" suitable for secondary level science and "Colonial Days" suitable for upper primary grade social studies. The paper concludes with a short listing of resources.
X-10 TECHNOLOGY Orloff, Wes 1997 Abstract: Off-the-shelf electronic devices have applications in the planetarium. X-10 transmitter and receiver combinations send control signals over existing wiring in your facility to act as remote switches and dimmers.
GLPA RUSSIAN SLIDE PROJECT Pareis, Alan 1997 Abstract: A status update of the project including a sample of the book of slides and annotations produced for each planetarium of the Russian Republic and Ukraine.
CREATE A LOGO FOR YOUR PLANETARIUM Reed, Mark 1997 Abstract: Our school planetarium is located within a museum complex. Many people were unaware that our city had a planetarium and yet most people had visited the museum-park setting where our facility is located within. New signs and documents using our logo have increased awareness and attendance.
USING MODELS TO REINFORCE CONCEPTS Reed, Mark 1997 Abstract: The use of models can reinforce concepts and ideas to students of all ages. Within this paper, the presenter will share some of his models and approaches that he uses in his planetarium to aid instruction about the Solar System, Seasons, and the Earth-Moon system.
PROMOTING STUDENT CREATIONS FOR TRANSPARENT CYLINDERS Reynolds, Susan 1997 Abstract: You can see examples of student creations and learn how to motivate and direct their development of presentations. You can learn about using transparencies that project beautifully on the Starlab dome.
IPS PORTABLE PLANETARIUM COMMITTEE UPDATE Reynolds, Susan 1997 Abstract: How many mobile domes are out there ? Who got to go to Italy this year and how can you apply for a chance to teach in Italy ? The answers to these questions and more information about this extremely active committee will be shared in this paper.
REASONS FOR THE SEASONS Reynolds, Susan 1997 Abstract: The activities presented are meant to satisfy students' needs for feeling accepted, significant and powerful in the academic environment. Added to that is an opportunity to have fun viewing the changing sky in an unusual environment--the planetarium as a laboratory.
FILLING THE ASTRONOMICAL VOID: A VISUAL MEDIUM FOR A VISUAL SUBJECT Ryan, Jay 1997 Abstract: Astronomy is a fundamentally visual subject. The modern science of astronomy has at its foundation the ancient art of visually observing the sky. The visual elements of astronomy are arguably the most important to the average person. Every person in the entire world is affected by visually-observed astronomical phenomena such as the seasonal variations in daylight. However, misconceptions abound and the average person cannot recognize the simple signs in the sky that point to the direction, the hour, and the season.
THE ECUADOR PROJECT Sampson, Gary 1997 Abstract: During the fall of 1996, I visited four planetaria in Ecuador as a volunteer consultant. I would like to share my experiences from Ecuador, as well as an ongoing project with the planetaria of Ecuador.
TEACHING PASSIVE SOLAR HEATING IN THE PLANETARIUM Schafer, Sheldon 1997 Abstract: Lakeview Museum recently hosted "Planet Neighborhood Day" in conjunction with the PBS series of the same name. The focus of the series was on things the individual citizen can do to improve the environment. In order to involve the planetarium with a hands-on activity that day, we developed an activity on passive solar heating. Participants built houses of "Mega Blocks" and used the planetarium to simulate the height of the winter and summer Sun. The goal was to find the best combination of window size and roof overhang, so that the windows of the house would admit the winter Sun and be shielded from the summer Sun.
USING POWER POINT IN THE PLANETARIUM (OR CELESTIAL ALLITERATION) Schindewolf 1997 Abstract: Microsoft Office is continuing to grow in popularity in our school systems. I have used one of the office programs, PowerPoint, to create presentations for the planetarium.
A FIELD TRIP TO THE MOON Schmitt, Dr. Harrison 1997 Abstract: The last Apollo mission to the moon, Apollo 17, left Earth on December 7, 1972 to land near the southeastern edge of Mare Serenitatis in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow. For 75 hours, Gene Cernan and the author lived and worked in the valley, performing extensive geological studies of the volcanic rocks that partially fill the valley, the boulders that rolled into the valley from the surrounding mountains, and the meteor impact generated soils that cover the valley floor and walls. Successful exploration of Taurus-Littrow capped a six mission investigation of the materials and history of the moon. At the conclusion of these studies, science had gained a first order understanding of the evolution of the moon as a planet. Humankind had gained knowledge of new resources in the soils of the moon that may help solve many energy problems on Earth and help initiate the exploration and settlement of Mars.
MARS MANIA: A CELEBRATION OF THE MARS PATHFINDER MISSION Schroeder, Brock 1997 Abstract: On July 6, 1997, Strickler Planetarium hosted an event for families to take part in learning about the Pathfinder mission. Families were able to watch the "Live from Mars" broadcast and take part in various activities with a space theme.
RETYING THE THREAD BETWEEN ASTRONOMY AND MYTHOLOGY Shanks, Sharon 1997 Abstract: In the 20th century, the study of mythology seems to be drifting farther and farther away from the stars, a phenomenon caused as much by light pollution as it is by the passage of time and our increasing sophistication. We can study mythology without looking at the stars and, of course, can study the night sky without knowing mythology - but each loses something when they are studied along.
BASIC SPECIAL EFFECT DESIGN: MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK Siegfried, Bryan 1997 Abstract: Many smaller planetariums have one difficulty in common - they have small budgets to match. However, seeing that special effects are for the most part just tricks of light, there are several ways that you can manufacture these gizmos with parts you probably already have.
INTERACTIVE DISTANCE LEARNING PRESENTATION Sledz, Robert Whitt, April 1997 Abstract: Bob Sledz teaches astronomy class in three different high schools at the same time. April Whitt offers programs from Fernbank Science Center that reach students all over Georgia. These two will lead a demonstration of Interactive Distance Learning from Bob's base in Garfield Heights High School. Participants will get an overview of the equipment, discuss some sample projects, and experience what it's like to teach on television.
WRITING TO THE BEAT Slisher, Todd 1997 Abstract: Want to add a dynamic soundtrack to fit your new show, but can't fit a custom composer into your budget? Then turn the production process around and instead write your script to already existing music beds. Some advantages and tips regarding this technique will be presented.
INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ASTRONOMICAL EXCHANGE BETWEEN CHINA AND OTHER COUNTRIES: A REPORT Smith, Dale 1997 Abstract: In September, I represented IPS at a conference in China to commemorate the 555th anniversary of the Ancient Beijing Observatory and the 40th anniversary of the Beijing Planetarium. This paper describes the conference, summarizes some of its papers, and describes our various experiences in China. Astronomical research and planetarium work in China are both active and well-supported.
SCIENCE AND ASTRONOMY IN AMERICA: 1970-1995 Smith, Dale 1997 Abstract: I offer some perspectives on advances in astronomy and on challenges to astronomy education in the period from 1970 through 1995.
ADDING MACHINE ASTRONOMY Thompson, Rod 1997 Abstract: This paper tells how adding machine tape can be used to model different ideas involving distances in astronomy. It is cheap and you may have a supply sitting around at your school.
PLANETARIUM SCRIPTWRITING FOR BEGINNERS Tidey, Steve 1997 Abstract: Writing a planetarium script can be a daunting experience, but I'll show you how to take the right approach to ensure that your script utilizes the unique planetarium medium to its fullest and doesn't insult the intelligence of your audience.
RARE MORNING SPECTACLE ON APRIL 23 Victor, Robert 1997 Abstract: Here's a celestial event planetarians may want to publicize in advance to their audiences, and perhaps even schedule a couple of mornings of public viewing to see it, despite the early hour. The sight of two bright planets approaching each other in the weeks preceding April 23 will alert regular morning skywatchers to the upcoming event.
TWILIGHT ASTRONOMY 1998-99 Victor, Robert 1997 Abstract: Twilight Astronomy is an activity individuals, classes, and families can enjoy. Regularly spending a short time outdoors in deepening twilight, watching the Moon, planets, and bright stars, is a good way for beginners to learn the basic rhythms of the sky.
DOUBLE MOUNTING SLIDE DUPLICATES Walker, Richard 1997 Abstract: This talk will discuss the double mounting method for slide duplicates to eliminate masking. A technique for double mounting without a pin registered camera will also be covered. The pros and cons of the method will be discussed.
LASERS, KIDS, AND THE SPACEQUEST ACADEMY Wallace, James II 1997 Abstract: During the SpaceQuest Planetarium day camps, children using an interface were afforded the opportunity to design and perform their own laser light shows for their peers and parents. This paper will outline the results and focus on future laser activities for children.
CARA KIDS ON THE RED PLANET Whitt, April 1997 Abstract: The 1997 Yerkes Summer Institute featured activities and classes about the solar system. Students from Chicago spent August 10-16 at George Williams College and Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. Members of the Pathfinder Mission reporting team built a display describing their project. They downloaded several images from the Internet and demonstrated a remote-controlled robot.
STARS THAT NEVER SET Whitt, April 1997 Abstract: A new children's program at Fernbank features the northern sky. Teacher materials were developed to accompany the program, copies of which will be distributed with the show outline during this circumpolar session.
WORKING SCALE MODEL OF THE MOON ROVER FOR A SPACE CAMP Zajac, Gene 1997 Abstract: Joe designed a scale model of the lunar rover. It was built in order to help teach a summer workshop on space exploration. Tools used for experimentation on the Moon will be presented as will aspects of living and working in space