Students venture to the stars with mobile planetarium - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Students venture to the stars with mobile planetarium

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Star Lab light bulbs, projecting images. Star Lab light bulbs, projecting images.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

A virtual 3-D planetarium makes traveling light years into the galaxy as fast as a few clicks of a mouse. It's housed inside of 16 by 25 foot inflatable igloo like housing.

It will revolutionize how students learn about astronomy and science, according to Jim Christensen with Northwest AEA an agency which works to improve education.

"When you can see the movements of the planets, the phases of the moon, and you can tell the change that happen in the night sky, Star Lab allows us to manipulate the time and places we view the sky from so that kids can understand the processes that are taking place," Jim Christensen said.

The set-up is fairly simple. It's basically a laptop hooked up to a light that can project data, or images inside of the inflatable housing.

The idea is to loan out the mobile planetarium so schools don't have to pay for buying the whole set-up, which is about $50,000.

Christensen said the planetarium will be traveling to Northwest Iowa schools.

Dozens of schools have already signed up.

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