Portable Planetarium comes to Beloit Print
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

OLA Planetarium
Students in grades K4 and kindergarten from Our Lady of the Assumption (OLA) School in Beloit stand in front of the Portable Planetarium from the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Ill., during a recent stop at the school. Also pictured are OLA Principal Trevor Seivert, Jessica Williams from the Discovery Center Museum, kindergarten teacher Becky Zur, and K4 teacher Kim Sheridan. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

BELOIT -- Students at Our Lady of the Assumption (OLA) School in Beloit had a recent surprise.

They had a field trip and a chance to learn about the night time sky brought to them.

On November 15, the Portable Planetarium from the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Ill., made a stop at the school.

The Portable Planetarium is an inflatable space where students learn about the visible stars, constellations, and other bodies that can be seen in the night time sky.

Shows for students

Jessica Williams of the Discovery Center Museum presented three shows at OLA for the elementary school-aged students.

As with most grade levels, the K4 and kindergarten students got a show tailor-made for their age group.

This show presented constellations as animal shapes, such as: Pisces the fish, Cancer the crab, Leo the lion, and Scorpio the scorpion.

For most of the constellations, Williams had the students pass around a corresponding stuffed animal, which they could also hug.

"They were so excited today," said K4 teacher Kim Sheridan. She added, "They're learning through every sense that they have" and it's a way to introduce science to them in a fun way.

Williams' presentation included constellations the students could find in the current night sky during the fall season.

The shows for the older students included more in-depth details about the stars and their places in the sky.


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