PLANETS land in school gymnasium

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

HAMLET — Students at Monroe Avenue Elementary today and tomorrow are taking a trip to the heavens. But they’re going only as far as the school gymnasium. Roundtrip, the adventure will take about 50 minutes.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Addie Jo Schonewolf, of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, a division with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said fourth grade students on Wednesday and third-graders on Thursday will take part of the portable planetarium’s special programs.

Today, students will take on on a Solar System Odyssey. Schonewolf said the idea is to explore the solar system with students “to see if there are any good planets to inhabit.”

It’s like watching IMAX,” Schonewolf said of the “unique educational experience.”

Students enter the navy blue dome and take a seat on UNC stadium cushions aligned neatly in rows. Then the lights go off, and the stars come out. Schonewolf guides the students’ journey at a laptop keyboard connected to a projector. The images are sent to the inner lining of the dome, which is coated with reflective paint. The program makes it seem as if the students are floating in space.

Each show includes a 30-minute animated film and an instructor-led presentation.

Schonewolf said unlike other national programs, this one is focused on meeting North Carolina standards and going hand-in-hand with state curriculum. She said the idea is to instill a sense of adventure and interest in students and let them continue to explore the university inside their classrooms.

 

 

Filed in: Education, Latest Headlines, News

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