Archived Story

Middle school students experience ‘universe’ inside school gym

Published 11:00pm Thursday, May 2, 2013

Science students at Charles Henderson Middle School viewed space in a big way Thursday.

A CHMS student exits the Stardome brought to the school by the McWane Center in Birmingham. The Stardome is a portable planetarium and its trip to Troy was made possible by a Troy City Schools Education Foundation grant.
A CHMS student exits the Stardome brought to the school by the McWane Center in Birmingham. The Stardome is a portable planetarium and its trip to Troy was made possible by a Troy City Schools Education Foundation grant.

The McWane Center in Birmingham brought its inflatable planetarium called the Stardome to campus and the students experienced the universe in a unique and fascinating way.

Images of the universe were projected on the ceiling of the inflatable planetarium giving the students the illusion of being a part of that great expanse they call “the sky.”

“The universe isn’t anything like I thought it was,” said sixth-grader, Loftin Worthington. “It’s huge. We saw other galaxies and the stars are billions of light years away. I didn’t think the universe was so big. And there are Black Holes that, if you fell in one, you couldn’t get out, ever.”

Drew Gentry, McWane Center science educator, said the inflatable planetarium is an eye-opening experience for most students.

“They see the universe in a way they’ve never seen and can’t even imagine,” Gentry said. “Young students are blown away by the experience.”

Lakeshia Perry, CHMS science teacher, said that she, too, learned things about the universe that she didn’t know.

“It was a great learning experience for all of us,” Perry said.

The Stardome was funded through a Troy City Schools Education Foundation grant that was written by the science teachers.

“Our goal was to stir interest among the students,” said Amanda Challancin, science teacher. “We always have a few students with an inborn interest in science but they are all curious. We explain scientific concepts in real-world situations, but learning new information from someone that is not their regular teacher and doing it in an exciting way will really give the students something to remember and hopefully a new interest in science.”

 

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