Old planetarium at Central Texas school could reopen next fall - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Old planetarium at Central Texas school could reopen next fall

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

A planetarium at Waco High School that has not been used in 20 years could reopen as soon as next fall, if approved by the Waco ISD Board of Trustees.

The planetarium, which was built in the 1960s, has not been used since the mid-1990s.

On Wednesday, a company from Utah gave a demonstration of their digital planetarium system to be used for the revival of the planetarium at Waco High School.

The revival of the planetarium estimated at up to $900,000 would include a new aluminum seamless dome, new lighting, up to 44 reclining seats and a new projection system. In addition, an interactive science exhibit in the adjacent room and a dedicated entrance would also be part of the project.

Evans and Sutherland from Salt Lake City, was the second company doing a demonstration about the capabilities of the planetarium to several people, including educators from Waco ISD.

“We can take people under the ocean. We can take people to a distant ocean that is in another planet. We can talk about engineering, art, mathematics and physics and chemistry and so on,” Evans and Sutherland employee Kevin Scott said.

He said other educational institutions and museums around the world use their digital planetarium system, which would allow Waco ISD share content.

"Students here in Waco could present their own content show, productions to these students in Mumbai, New Zealand and China and vice versa,” Scott said.

Waco ISD’s Science Content Specialist Dustin Sykora said the innovative resources would help students’ education.

"It's totally different seeing a 2D model on a piece of paper say a star or a planet,” Sykora said. “Actually seeing it in motion, that almost 3D feel is what will allow those connections to take place effectively and more concrete."

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would be able to use the facility.

“The younger we start that spark and interest in science, that whole stem curriculum only sets us forth. Let them have an advantage furthering their educational careers,” Sykora said.

Waco ISD Communications Director Bruce Gietzen said right now only 15 districts have their own planetarium.

"The district is trying to develop a reputation or further a reputation of being innovative, willing to reach outside the box to do some things maybe can't get elsewhere,” Gietzen said.

Other school districts and members of the public would be able to use planetarium, which is expected to be a source of revenue for the district.

Gietzen said the district believes it can obtain the majority of the funding for the planetarium through grants, private donations, gifts and sponsorships.

If approved, the planetarium could reopen next September or January of 2018.

Copyright KXXV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Farewell, Korea: First of 3 straight Asian Olympics ends

    Farewell, Korea: First of 3 straight Asian Olympics ends

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:16 AM EST2018-02-25 07:16:08 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 6:39 AM EST2018-02-25 11:39:32 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    More >>

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    More >>
  • After years of dejection, proponents of gun laws see hope

    After years of dejection, proponents of gun laws see hope

    Saturday, February 24 2018 10:35 AM EST2018-02-24 15:35:23 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 6:36 AM EST2018-02-25 11:36:54 GMT
    The progression has become numbingly repetitive - mass bloodshed unleashed by a gunman, followed by the stories of the fallen, the funerals and mourning. (Source: AP Photos)The progression has become numbingly repetitive - mass bloodshed unleashed by a gunman, followed by the stories of the fallen, the funerals and mourning. (Source: AP Photos)

    "Our kids have started a revolution:" Teens' activism after Florida school shooting has some hopeful for action on gun policy.

    More >>

    "Our kids have started a revolution:" Teens' activism after Florida school shooting has some hopeful for action on gun policy.

    More >>
  • NRA, Florida face backlash after latest school shooting

    NRA, Florida face backlash after latest school shooting

    Saturday, February 24 2018 4:36 AM EST2018-02-24 09:36:41 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 6:36 AM EST2018-02-25 11:36:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE- In this Feb. 15, 2006, file photo, BlackRock headquarters is shown in New York. U.S. companies are taking a closer look at investments, co-branding deals and other ties to the gun industry and its public face, the ...(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE- In this Feb. 15, 2006, file photo, BlackRock headquarters is shown in New York. U.S. companies are taking a closer look at investments, co-branding deals and other ties to the gun industry and its public face, the ...

    NRA faces corporate backlash after latest school shooting.

    More >>

    NRA faces corporate backlash after latest school shooting.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly