Mountlake Terrace Middle School
"Jeff, I am in the middle of constructing a 4 meter planetarium.
I think that I will be able to complete the project without having
to purchase anything. I contacted a recycling center who was able
to provide me with 100 sheets of 4x8 cardboard. Many door and window
companies receive their product separated by cardboard. The recycling
center gets a load every few weeks. The sheets are all perfect.
The second hint is to use pvc pipe instead of paper clamps. First,
take a length of 2” pvc pipe and cut it into 2 inch pieces.
Second, slice through the length of each piece of pvc pipe. If you
pull the sliced piece apart it holds the cardboard better than a
binder clip and is free. With a band saw you can make several hundreds
of the clamps in a few minutes. "
Thanks for the ideas!
Whitford Middle School
We just noted an article in the Beaverton Times about a school in
Oregon that built one of our domes. Here's a link to the article: http://www.beavertonvalleytimes.com/article/10792.
We are awaiting permission from the editor to post an excerpt from
the article and a photo from the article. (5/72006, posted 3/26/2006).
Mystic River Learning Center
Your name: Caryn Johnson
School name and description : Mystic River Learning Center -- a
cooperative center for homeschoolers ages 5 to 15. Founded in 2002.
Distance to the nearest planetarium : <10 miles (Hayden
at Boston's Museum of Science)
Size of completed dome _ small (<1 m) _ medium (1 m) _ large (5
Large: over 4 meters (14 feet, 8 inch diameter)
Projector : purchased
We actually have four simple projectors, but the best one is the
Homestar" planetarium projector recently released by Sega Toys.
It is just becoming available in the U.S., but we ordered one
from Japan. We may make some additional projectors of our own.
Number of students who worked on dome construction: one 9-year-old
helped with much of the measuring, marking, cutting and scoring
(1 other adult helped with this part also). 7 students helped with
the "Dome Raising" and with disassembly 10 days later.
range of these students was 6 to 14. Two 4-year-olds helped with
distribution and gathering of binder clips as well (3 other adults
helped with the dome raising, 2 others helped with disassembly).
How did you use the dome? Did you use it to address specific standards,
as a lesson, club project, or other?: We started with a one-time
workshop on domes, with students figuring out how to approach
the problem of enclosing space with flat polygons (and encountering
the Platonic solids and a number of other interesting forms along
the way). Then we had, and hope to continue having, classes about
astronomy, about time (telling time by the stars; how the sidereal
day differs from the solar day, cycles of eclipses), etc. We also
hope to explore the pin-hole camera effect inside the dome, and
the dome's acoustics!
Please describe any problems you had in construction, or areas which
were not clearly explained on the web site: We had trouble adding
the base ring of rectangles, because we had so few tall participants
in our dome raising! We left it "on the floor" and
that works well
for the moment. We'll try again next time we assemble it. It would
have been nice to have more of a description of how to add the base.
There may be an error in your description of the flange used for
binder clips: 10 cm (4 in) was much too large! 3 cm (about an inch
a quarter) was a much better depth to match the largest size binder
clips we could get. That brought the tightest gripping point of
the clips down into the trough of the bend in each side of the
scored cardboard. Very few of our clips popped off.
Thank you for having your information on the web! We have benefited
greatly from what you have done! We hope you, and everyone else
who builds one, are enjoying your domes as much as we are!
Thanks for your comments. I've edited the flange description,
and added tips on how to put the dome on the base ring. -- JA
Our first report from a school using our plans has come in!
Willow Glen Elementary School
1. Your name: Peter Graven
2. School name and description (grade levels, urban/suburban/rural, anything
else you'd like to tell us)
Willow Glen Elementary School (St. Francis, WI)
8th Grade: Earth Science
Suburban: Milwaukee, WI
3. Distance to the nearest planetarium: Multiple,
10 miles - Univeristy of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Olson Planetarium
4. Size of completed dome _ small (<1 m) _ medium (1 m) _ large (5 m) about
5. Projector __home-made __ purchased: Homemade
6. Number of students who worked on dome construction: Max: 6
7. How did you use the dome? Did you use it to address specific standards,
as a lesson, club project, or other?
Teams of 8th graders are currently creating planetarium shows for different
grade levels within our K-8 school.
8. Please describe any problems you had in construction, or areas which
were not clearly explained on the web site.
Website did a good job of explaining the construction - thanks.
Willow Glen's planetarium dome built from our instructions.
Deer Valley's original cardboard dome team.
Daniel Wasson, James McDougal, Jovina Chagas, Jeff Adkins, Ramon
Hannon, John Busutil (Booz). From spring 2001. The bnox is a fan
we used to cool the dome.
The purpose of this page is
to give you an opportunity to tell us how this site has helped you.
We'd like to know if you built a dome, what size it was, and how you
evaluated the use of the project in your classroom. We're also interested
in knowing the number of students involved in the construction of your
dome(s). If you send us pictures of your completed domes, we will post
them here. Just fill out the form below and let us know what you think!