PLANETARIUM EXPERIENCE & PHILOSOPHY
I have been employed as a full-time educator in the Allentown School District Planetarium since graduating from Kutztown University in 1972. Presently, I am director of that facility.
The Allentown School District Planetarium is a large rectangular-shaped room equipped with a Spitz model A3P projector and a 24-foot dome. The seating capacity is for 35 adults. It possesses a fine contingency of special effects and carousel projectors, together with a state of the art audio system that creates realistic and factual presentations about any phase of astronomy. I am responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the star projector and room during the school term.
Most of the presentations in the Planetarium are live as opposed to the utilization of taped programs. They involve the successful manual coordination of the star projector, the auxiliary projectors, the sound system, and the verbalization of the lesson. Whenever possible, all live programming is participatory in nature. Students are encouraged to ask and respond to questions, as well as participate in demonstrations which may include the recording of observational data, role-playing, or identifying various astronomical objects in the sky.
I feel very strongly about utilizing the planetarium star projector to its fullest potential, and I tailor my programs to meet this criterion. Currently, almost all of the visuals which I use are self-generated, and programming reflects my personal experiences which have been accrued in over a quarter century of active astronomy interest.