Groundbreaking ceremony held for SciDome Planetarium at The Works

NEWARK – The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology and The Ohio State University at Newark held a public groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, June 2 for their collaborative $1.4 million SciDome planetarium to be built on The Works’ campus, 55 S. 1st Street in downtown Newark. The 2,200 square foot facility will house a 30 foot tilted dome with 4K digital projection and NanoSeamTM technology and theatre-style seating for 60 guests. Completion is anticipated in June 2018.

Marcia Downes, The Works’ managing director, stated, “With the building of the SciDome, we are extremely proud to continue our founder Howard LeFevre’s legacy of access to high-quality educational programming, and we were pleased to be able to invite the entire community to celebrate this newest addition to The Works with us at the groundbreaking event.”

“This is an amazing opportunity for the students at Ohio State Newark and for the Newark community,” said Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald. “The mission of Ohio State Newark is to provide access to the university by extending Ohio State courses, programs, research and service to many Ohio communities. This partnership allows us to reach and educate so many in our region in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) using the latest technology and make a significant impact on future generations.”

The SciDome will be located at the site of The Works’ current Discovery Garden, between the museum’s administration building and main museum building, the former Scheidler Machine Works.

This innovative collaboration will result in a dynamic educational partnership bringing state-of-the-art fulldome simulations and interdisciplinary programs to the public as well as Ohio State Newark students. To accomplish this breadth of programming, the SciDome will be a shared facility, open to The Works’ guests and school tours as well as Ohio State Newark classes and programming. A complete schedule is yet to be determined.

To further facilitate this unique partnership, the SciDome will include a dedicated office for Ohio State Newark faculty member Dr. Michael Stamatikos, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, Department of Astronomy and Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particles Physics. Dr. Stamatikos—widely recognized for his work on Swift, a NASA satellite mission that was ranked the best science mission in its class in two consecutive NASA biennial senior reviews—will serve as The Works’ Chief Science Officer funded through an endowed professorship at Ohio State Newark. The university will also provide funding for three internships each year (one per semester) to assist with Ohio State Newark programming.

Initial programming will include Starry Night and The Layered Earth fulldome simulations. Designed for educators by dome builder, Spitz, Inc., these planetarium presentations can be manipulated in real time to empower educators to customize each educational presentation.

For more than 20 years, The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology, has offered hands-on educational and cultural activities for all ages. The Works is an official Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), the North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM), and Time Travelers network.

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Posted on June 5, 2017 .