based paint works well in the dome. Oil based or spray paint is not
recommended because of the amount needed to cover the surface and
the lack of ventilation in most classrooms.
For projector surfaces, use flat (not
glossy) white paint and paint the dome segments prior to assembling
the dome for the first time. Once assembled, you might want to touch
up spots missed in the initial attempt. One coat will probably do
well for projector surfaces even if it appears streaky and uneven
in a well-lit room.
Rollers work better than brushes for large surface areas.
This is a view of the interior of the
finished dome within a lighted classroom.
As the water based paint dries, it may tend to make the cardboard projector
panels curl. You can either brace the panels as they dry, or let them curl
and flatten them later.
If you paint the interior of the base
wall black, there will be little reflection from the projector and
this will enhance the brightness of the projected stars.
If you add a ventilation system, paint
all interior surfaces black to absorb light from outside the dome.
Some teachers use the smaller domes as lessons unto themselves and not primarily
as a tool for astronomy. For the smaller domes, a projector to show the stars
may not be the most logical choice.
Here are some ideas for painting
the interior of the dome:
- Using a planisphere or star chart, outline the major constellations
and brighter stars. You can use the charts provided with
the projector page as a guide, even if you don’t build a
- Use glow in the dark paint.
- Use constellations from a variety of cultures, such as Native
American, Egyptian, and Chinese historical constellations.
- Paint longitude and latitude lines and use the dome or globe
to teach about navigation.
- Use the opportunity to make the dome an art project and have
students .supply creative ideas.
here for a printable version