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Planetarium Mission
Planetarium

 

Overall Mission

The overall mission of the Long Beach City College Planetarium is science education in general, and astronomy education in particular.

Primary Mission

The primary mission of the planetarium is to serve as an educational facility for LBCC astronomy students.

Secondary Mission

The secondary mission(s) of the planetarium, in no particular order, are

Support of other subject areas at LBCC.

Education of the general public about science in general and astronomy in particular via public shows.

Education of K-12 students about astronomy.

Fulfilling the Planetarium Mission

Primary mission - The planetarium is the classroom for all Long Beach City College astronomy classes. Currently Professors Seligman and Sholle are teaching themselves the operation, programming and scripting of the Digistar 3 SP2 projection system, and integrating it into their astronomy classes for the educational benefit of their students. Because of the magnitude of this task, combined with the current lack of staffing, it will take years to fully integrate the projection system into daily classroom astronomy instruction. After this task is completed, there will be the need for continual updating of scripts as newly discovered astronomical knowledge is incorporated into the course, and as new ways of presenting information are utilized.

Secondary mission(s) - For a variety of reasons, including lack of staffing and the need for funding/time to develop, advertise and present public shows and K-12 school shows, the secondary missions of the planetarium will be postponed until further notice. The exception to this is that Professor Seligman has added a modest planetarium component to the telescope open houses that he has regularly scheduled for many years. These will now be referred to as Astronomy Open Houses.

In the future we would like to offer public shows devoted to specific astronomical topics of interest or timely topics that go beyond these open houses in scope. Although our future public shows and K-12 school shows will be entertaining, the focus of the shows will be educational, as we are an educational institution. At some planetaria, shows are presented "canned" without a live presenter, or are presented by actors with very limited astronomical knowledge. At our shows a live presenter with deep knowledge of astronomy will do the presentation, so that the audience can be assured of receiving accurate information, and can ask questions about what is presented.

 

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