Stars big, bright at WITCA portable planetarium recently gave Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond Early Childhood Education students a look at the night sky during the day and indoors.
A portable planetarium recently gave Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-New Richmond Early Childhood Education students a look at the night sky during the day and indoors.
Invited by WITC science instructor Wendy Dusek, Paul Kinzer brought his portable planetarium “Starlab” to the college campus.
Kinzer’s website at http://seeingstarswi.word press.com/ describes Starlab as “an opaque inflatable dome with an entrance tunnel, 18-by-21 feet across and 11 feet high, that seats about 15-20 adults or 30 children.
“In the center of the dome, a projector with interchangeable charts projects a rotating image onto the inner surface of the dome. It displays more than a thousand stars and the Moon, for any time of any day of the year. It also shows the appearance of the sky from anywhere between the equator and the North Pole.”
Students also listened to Kinzer explain constellation outlines, both modern and ancient, and viewed slides of the Earth, moon, planets, the Milky Way and various deep-space objects.
Dusek coordinated the demonstration with WITC instructor Mary Williams-Greene in an effort to show students different teaching methods in early childhood education.
“Kinzer has various presentations geared for different ages,” says Williams-Greene. “He makes his talk interactive, so children get a hands-on approach to learning about the night sky. This is effective for our students to witness and experience various ways to teach very young children about science.”