Portable Planetarium for Enthusiastic Sky-gazers
A Partnership between Dudley Observatory and Capital Region BOCES
Starlab is a portable planetarium. When unpacked and inflated, Starlab transforms into a 16-foot dome that accommodates up to 30 students, and is handicapped accessible. A projector and subject cylinders introduce participants to astronomical topics through exciting graphics projected on the dome’s interior. All that is needed is floor space, an electrical outlet, and enthusiastic sky-gazers. Starlab is great for schools, libraries, and other public organizations.
Download the Starlab brochure for 2017-18 school year
Starlab Meets Standards
Starlab programs are designed to supplement district science programs in earth and space science. NYS P-12 science standards that match our programs are listed in the program brochure. Supplemental activities for the classroom can be downloaded here:
Do you think in 3-D? Basic concepts in astronomy can be difficult to grasp because they require imagining the solar system in 3 dimensions, and from different perspectives. Capital Region BOCES is now partnering with Dudley Observatory to provide interactive planetarium programs where students explore the orbital motions that cause predictable patterns in the phases of the moon, seasons, and the changing positions of constellations in our night sky. For example, a first-grade student might predict where the sun and moon appear to rise and set, while a fifth-grade student observes and records the sun’s seasonal path through the sky.
Starlab brings astronomy alive!
How to Schedule Starlab
Starlab is available throughout the school year and for summer programs. The cost is $400 per school visit for up to 5 consecutive programs, plus a small mileage fee for locations outside Schenectady county. Schools, libraries, camps, and other organizations may schedule through the Dudley Observatory: 518-382-7890 x259
If your school is a member of BOCES, you may be eligible for aid. Please contact the Capital Region BOCES at 518-464-3999 or Laura.Lehtonen@neric.org for more information.
Room Requirements for Using the STARLAB
Basic details: Cleared floor space, 20 x 20 ft with a ceiling height of 11 ft and access to a power outlet. Our astronomy educators require 45 minutes for set-up before the first program.
Download our detailed specifications here: StarLab Setup Requirements (PDF)