A Planetarium for Every Classroom
Building and Using a Planetarium for Your Classroom Using Inexpensive Materials

Celebration Checklist Responses

_√__ Display Board
Display board will be provided at the Celebration.
_√__ Title of Your Project
A Planetarium for Every School
_√_ Goal(s)
If you cannot afford to take your students to a planetarium, why not bring the planetarium to them? For less than the cost of a field trip to a distant planetarium, you can construct your own planetarium and have it to use over and over. The Astro-Dome project will show you how to build your own personal or classroom planetarium. Not only will you learn how to build one out of inexpensive materials, you will learn how to use it for everything from astronomy lessons to mathematics and ar lessons.
Our project will explain how to build a planetarium from ordinary materials such as cardboard and binder clips. This project requires interdisciplinary skills such as mathematics and science. Students will learn about scaling and estimation as well as basic astronomy and a little optics.
_√__ Curriculum Focus
The project is grounded in the California Earth Science Standards 1 and 2 which require instruction regarding Earth's Place in the Universe. Few curriculum choices cover these standards at the high school level. At the middle school level, teachers need all the specialized assistance they can get for topics which may not be in their primary field. Additional standards in mathematics and science may be addressed as the planetarium programs are developed for dissemination.
Math and Science: Scaling, Triangles, Geodesic spheres, Cylinders, projection, astronomy, constellations, motions of the sun and stars
_√__ Student work and photos
From Web site, see 5m dome page.
___ Evaluation Report (This can include Graphs, Charts, Anecdotal Examples)

Evaluation Criteria Status
We will solicit from schools which have constructed planetarium domes. Pending—we don’t expect results until after the National Science Teacher’s convention presentation.
We will post photographs of completed domes on the site. One measureable outcome is evidence that domes are actually being constructed. We finished ours! Pictures are posted.
We hope to develop a course in planetarium show production for the 2003-2004 school year. If the course is approved by the district curriculum council that is a measure of success. The course is being taught this year. http://homepage.mac.com/
We also plan to compare results from the SAT 9 exam for students involved in our project vs. students who are not. Current students have not yet taken the SAT 9 for earth science to compare scores. Pending.
Student participants in the dome-building project will be surveyed on their reaction to participating in the project, as well as teachers participating in the hands-on professional development portion of the program. Students reported that the activity was exciting and interesting. They did the project as a portion of the grade for Astronomy and Space Science course last year. Presentation has not yet been done for the National Science Teacher’s Association

. ___ Sample Assessment Tools
This feedback form is posted on the feedback page of our site. We do not expect results until after the National Science Teacher’s convention in March 2004.
Your name
School name and description (grade levels, urban/suburban/rural, anything else you'd like to tell us)
Distance to the nearest planetarium
Size of completed dome _ small (<1 m) _ medium (1 m) _ large (5 m)
Projector __home-made __ purchased
Number of students who worked on dome construction________
How did you use the dome? Did you use it to address specific standards, as a lesson, club project, or other?Please describe any problems you had in construction, or areas which were not clearly explained on the web site.




NSTA Files

Building a Dome

2 Meter
5 Meter
Paint Your Project


Making a Projector

Building a Projector


Using the Planetarium




Celebration Checklist page

Send your dome building report to us!


Quick Links

Deer Valley High School Science Department

Antioch SPACE Academy

AstronomyTeacher's web site


Contact Us

Jeff Adkins

Cheryl Domenichelli



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This project was supported by a County Technology Academy Grant funded by the Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation in cooperation with the Contra Costa County Office of Education.