Freshmen Academy Builds Planetarium

Look! Up there in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… a constellation!

As part of an interdisciplinary project that incorporated ELA, science, algebra and global studies, Freshmen Academy students researched and graphed constellations based on mythology.  Upon completing their research, each student designed their own mythological constellation, wrote a story and graphed their design.  As part of their project, they had to calculate the linear equation for the lines created.

The students then built a room-size planetarium, based on a design inspired by a published NASA classroom project.  They carefully punched patterns of tiny holes into heavy black plastic to represent their constellations, duct taping the sections together and inflating their creation with fans set up in the Johnstown High School Lecture Hall.

Once all work was completed, they gathered inside to observe the stars and read their original stories. With the overhead stage lights shining through the patterns of holes created in the tarps, students were able to view their work transformed into a host of amazing constellations  in the dark night sky!

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