Category: Education Resources

IPS Update: An Experience in Italy

A Week in Italy for an American Planetarium Operator (click for IPS details)

Each year, in the spring, the Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory (Lumezzane/Brescia) hosts an American planetarium operator, whose native tongue is English, to work with high school students of English.

Applications are requested from educators or astronomers who work with any of the various models of planetariums.

The International Planetarium Society (IPS) endorses this initiative as an excellent opportunity for professional development and cultural exchange.

Planet Almanac for September 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017

This Year in Planets by Robert Victor

Following on his poster and talk at MAPS 2016, Bob Victor has compiled this planet almanac to benefit of planetarians in planning their sky observations and interpretations in the coming year. His work here covers the dates September 1, 2016, to October 31, 2017, and includes monthly evening sky charts plotted for 40 degrees north latitude.

As Seen at the Conference

Bob Victor shared many sky events with us during both his presentation and his poster at the conference.

Alan Davenport has compiled a document that highlights all of the celestial events we can share with our audiences this month. Thank you, Bob and Alan!!!

PDF – Celestial Highlights, August 8-September 2, 2016

Under Roof, Dome and Sky

Under Roof, Dome and Sky is the product of a 5-year project undertaken in 1968 by MAPS planetarium directors. The 45 activities designed to be student-directed were designed and tested as supplemental to the classroom science education of the time in cooperation and with the input of teachers. Topics are covered with both elementary and secondary level activities. Educational methodology has changed in the intervening decades, but these exemplary lessons can be adapted to today’s STEM objectives. All MAPS members are welcome to download and put this collection to use in their own domes.

Reasons for Seasons Workshop

April Whitt was gracious enough to share her expertise during a workshop on the seasons at our Baltimore Conference in 2014. John Meader provided the photographs, April provided the captions, Tim Collins and the Website Committee did the technical work on preparing the the presentation for the website, and Tim also provided the musical accompaniment to the presentation.

In addition to the presentation, we have posted the worksheets, and several other documents that April used during her presentation.

MAPS Education Mentoring Network

If you are starting out in the planetarium field or have recently moved to a new facility with unfamiliar equipment or curriculum, and have questions for a fellow educator, technician, or coordinator, our mentors can help. Our field tends to be a specialty in which one often finds oneself operating single handedly without the benefit of immediate consultation with a colleague facing the same challenges.

As our organization gains new members, we feel the Education Mentoring Network will serve a vital function. Unlike education mentors that are assigned, you are free to consult with any of our mentors. We are a voluntary pool of professionals willing to assist.