Who:  The Ohio State University at Lima
Ohio State plans open house for portable planetarium in Bellefontaine
  3:30-5:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003
Ohio Hi-Point Career Center Electronics Lab, Room 203
Pam Joseph at (419) 995-8284


October 15, 2003

Contact: Pam Joseph at (419) 995-8284

Ohio State plans open house for portable planetarium in Bellefontaine

Teachers and interested community members will be seeing stars when The Ohio State University at Lima brings its new STARLAB portable planetarium to the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center for an open house from 3:30-5:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003, in the Electronics Lab, Room 203.

The open house will give teachers and other interested community groups and individuals the chance to try out the new STARLAB Planetarium, an inflatable and portable learning laboratory that brings the benefits of an astronomic observatory right into a school, community organization or business.

STARLAB creates a unique learning environment that can be set up almost anywhere and will accommodate from 25-35 adults or children. The Ohio State version is 16 feet in diameter and 10.5 feet tall and weighs just 45 pounds. Inside the inflatable dome, the STARLAB is the perfect place to learn more about astronomy, history and other cultures.

“We will use the STARLAB for astronomy and education, beginning with elementary grades 2-5 and some outside community groups like the scouts and the museums,” said Dr. Lynn Sametz, Director of Outreach at Ohio State Lima. “The activities align with the grade appropriate curriculum strands.”

The Starlab is the latest project in a series of educational outreach programs from Ohio State Lima. Past successes include the Many Hats of Agriculture, the Many Puppets of Agriculture, and WorkPlayce. Other current offerings include Inquiry Scientists and the Environment or ISE and The CAR. More than 8,000 students in the 10-county region went through Ohio State Lima outreach programs in 2002-2003.

“This is the only planetarium in the neighborhood and it will be a great way to hook kids into science and math,” Sametz said. “With our inflatable STARLAB, you don’t even have to wait for it to get dark. We bring it right to you.”

The STARLAB Planetarium is funded by a $15,000 donation from AEP.

The cost for the new STARLAB program varies. With school groups, the first session of the day is $100 with each subsequent classroom on the same day in the same building costing $75. Non profit groups cost $125 per session and for profit groups cost $150.

To book the STARLAB, teachers can call Sara Newman at (419) 995-8064.


The Office of External Relations
The Ohio State University at Lima
4240 Campus Drive
Lima, OH  45804
(419) 995-9332
FAX (419) 995-8444