Education

The sky’s the limit when it comes to learning.  The 60 foot, 360 degree dome that will sit in the Southwest Missouri Planetarium and Science Center will offer the ability to immerse viewers within and fly through high-resolution, high fidelity immersive images. For example, teachers can take their students within 3D models of complex molecules, DNA, or cancer cells; view the internal structure of the human body as revealed by CT or MRI medical imaging technologies; or fly to the edge of the observable universe.

The software allows instructors to project images of the nighttime sky as seen at any time—past, present, or future—and from almost anywhere in the Universe. Instructors and students can produce their own spectacular star shows by creating their own scripts in accordance with the lesson for the day. Using specialized software and technology shows can go beyond earth, taking students around the Milky Way galaxy and to the large scale structure of the universe itself.

The digital projection system provides state-of-the-art visualization opportunities for all disciplines. Not only a planetarium, the theater offers unique opportunities to illustrate anything from the inside of a cell to a city that exists only in the mind's eye of a Professor of Architecture. It can be used to display three-dimensional data sets from research projects, molecular structure models, the contents of King Tut’s tomb, the interior of the heart. In short, students from every discipline—from Chemistry, Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences to Art, Art history and Design and Architecture can experience their studies in a whole new format.

The Southwest Missouri Planetarium and Science Center will stay current on scientific research and new approaches to best practices in informal science learning, science education, and scientific literacy. This will be accomplished through technical support and advisory from organizations, including but not limited to the National Science Foundation, NASA, Institute of Museum and Library Studies, National Geographic and Lunar and Planetary Institute. The Southwest Missouri Planetarium and Science Center will stay current on scientific research and new approaches to best practices in informal science learning, science education, and scientific literacy. The planetarium and science center will be an easily accessible conduit of these organizations and deliver their resources, materials and expertise to local teachers, students and organizations.

We plan to offer a dynamic and constantly-evolving series of events and programs. Any school regardless of their ability to pay will be able to utilize the planetarium and science center resources for their students.  As school funding is tightened and budgets reduced the mission of our center becomes critical to area school children's education. the Southwest Missouri Planetarium and Science Center will never turn away any student or school in need.