"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
Vincent Van Gogh

Planetarium Training 2017

2017 Training Guide

Includes details of annual training sessions and much more valuable information about the Wood Acres Planetarium -- both past and present!

Volunteer Training Sessions

Training is mandatory for all new volunteers.  But once you attend a training, you are not required to attend in subsequent years in which you teach unless you'd just like a refresher. New for 2017:  We have a new digital projector this year.  All parents who wish to teach the "dome" portion of any class must attend training this year to learn how to operate this new technology.

Planetarium Dome Open Houses

Planetarium Volunteers,

There's a Dome Open House tonight.

Please join us for a Dome Open House - a hands-on session to get more familiar with the digital projector.

Do you have burning questions about using the projector for an upcoming lesson? Would you like another opportunity to practice? Are you interested in exploring a particular dome feature?

Then drop in anytime between 7-9 PM on one or all of the following Dome Open House dates listed below.

Attendance is optional on an as-needed basis.


Monday Mar 6 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Thursday Mar 16 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Monday Apr 3 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Thursday Apr 20 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Monday May 1 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Thursday May 18 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Interested? RSVP to Val Gendleman or to answer your questions.

Each session will begin with a 45-minute overview of the planetarium program with tips for delivering a class, accessing resources, and using the Promethean board. If you've never taught planetarium before, this is for you! If you're a returning volunteer, you can attend the last 1:15 of the class to learn how to use our new dome projector to deliver an exciting and immersive planetarium experience. All volunteers must attend a dome training prior to teaching the dome part of their class.

Planetarium Documents Through the Years

 Planetarium Orientation

 Osceola Sexton Planetarium training document for Grades K - 2

 Training 2011 Beta

To sign up to be a Planetarium volunteer please contact vgendleman@gmail.com.

Houston is Not a Problem! Planetarium Volunteers at SEEC

SEEC 2015

Planetarium Committee members, Kari Irvine, Eloise Keary and Nancy White attended the Space Exploration Educators’ Conference (SEEC 2015)  at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in February. It was Kari and Eloise's second time attending the conference and Nancy's first.

Kari, Eloise and Nancy presented a workshop about bringing the night sky into the classroom.  The workshop included a session under the portable Dome with activities about creating constellations, incorporating myths and making deeper connections using the constellations.  

The conference included a tour of Mission Control, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, and a testing facility for the Orion spacecraft for the future Mars mission. Our Planetarium representatives attended three days of workshops with hands-on activities on rocketry, understanding light, discovering exoplanets, experiments on the ISS, and many many more!

In representing Wood Acres ES and the Osceola Sexton Planetarium with space educators from around the country and the world, we were able to share what our Wood Acres students experience on a regular basis. Furthermore, SEEC 2015 was a fertile gathering ground for information, activities and ideas for our Planetarium program, helping Wood Acres students in “reaching for the Stars, realizing our potential.”

SEEC 2014                                                                                             

Kari Irvine and Eloise Keary (Planetarium Committee) recently visited Houston, TX, where they attended the 20th Annual SEEC (Space Exploration Educators' Conference) at the Johnson Space Center.               

Their mission:                                                                       
to gather materials and ideas to enhance the Planetarium program at WAES
to build contacts and relationships with fellow space educators and experts
to explore new directions in space education, for sharing with Planetarium volunteers
to boldly go where no WAES volunteer has gone before

The workshops they attended include: a dive session simulating ISS construction; Lego Bricks in Space; preparing for a trip to Mars; and many more.


© Wood Acres PTA  2014
5800 Cromwell Drive / 240-740-1120 / School Day: 9:00 am - 3:25 pm

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