Columbia Public Schools' Planetarium Reopens

8 years 3 months 14 hours ago Wednesday, April 04 2012 Apr 4, 2012 Wednesday, April 04, 2012 1:37:00 PM CDT April 04, 2012 in Continuous News
By: Shelly Yang

COLUMBIA - Students in Columbia will get a brand new planetarium by the end of this month.

Columbia Public Schools' planetarium at Rock Bridge High School features a new digital show system in the existing dome. The new system will allow the showing of 360-degree full surround shows on a variety of science topics. Also, it includes a digital star program that fills the entire dome with stars and could be used to efficiently teach constellation and astronomy.

CPS board members were invited to an open house at the planetarium today. CPS superintendent Chris Belcher felt really impressed by the shows with the new system. He said the visual experience would help students get into science subjects and digest their knowledge.

The planetarium will be officially open to students on April 28, which is also named as "Astronomy Day" by the Columbia Public Schools. It will open from 9:30 am to 3:00 om every day and shows will be arranged according to schools' requests. The planetarium expects 6,800 students in two months. The school district also plans to open the planetarium to the public next year. CPS will only charge 2 dollars per student for shows to schools outside CPS. The money will be used to update the equipment.

The planetarium was closed last September due to the failure of the 40-year-old quipment. Columbia Public Schools recieved $50,000 from an anonymous donor to purchase the new digital show system.

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