Shown with Mrs Lindsay Bearden (left) are students who worked on the planetarium including Jesus Becerra, Miguel Jacobo, Chandler Bunch, Lizeth Pimentel, Guatalupe Sanchez, Leonardo Chicas, Jonathan Espinoza. Not pictured are Markeece Suggs, Jonathan Griggs, Patricia Garcia, Kennedy Leonard, and Moises Martinez.
Lindsay Bearden’s senior astronomy class at Morris Innovative High School took on a project of huge proportions—the class constructed a planetarium.
Bearden had shown this project once before at a workshop for the Georgia Science Teachers Association, so she decided to bring it out for her students to try.
“I had it in my back pocket, and they were super excited when I suggested it,” Bearden said.
The class began work on the project in January and it took a week to construct.
Holes were punched in the top of the planetarium to represent stars, and the constellations were represented by a silver marker and labels.
“They had to figure out the location of the stars, and then put it in the planetarium,” said Bearden.
Students Lizeth Pimentel and Chandler Bunch, both 17, said when they first heard they were making a planetarium, they were excited but nervous that it would be a difficult task to complete.
“It was unexpected, and we were excited,” Bunch said. “I really didn’t know if the outcome would be right. It was hard at first.”
“It was difficult because I didn’t know anything about constellations,” Pimentel said of the starting the project.
Once the planetarium was complete, it measured 20×25 feet and was 7-8 feet tall.
But the construction was just the beginning—the students had to learn about the constellations and memorize their location and their history.
Bearden’s class showed off their finished work at Morris’s Presentation of Learning. When people came by to view the planetarium, the students would describe about their assigned constellation.
Later this month, Bearden and her students are going to take the planetarium around to local schools and will be featured at the Business Expo sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
The first stop will be a show at Christian Heritage for the K-5 grades, and then hopefully DPS elementary schools.
The class has also been invited to show off the planetarium at a Chamber of Commerce expo at the Trade center on May 1.
“This is so great for the kids,” Bearden said about getting recognition for their hard work. “They are beside themselves because people are excited about what they did.”
“I’m really proud,” Bunch said of the successful outcome and being recognized for it. “It’s an honor.”
“It’s exciting that more people get to see what we’ve done,” Pimentel said.
Bearden said she began the planetarium to show others what they could do.
“I wanted to apply what we learn and then share with others.”
With the word spreading about the success of the planetarium, Bearden and her class have done just that.
By Lindsey Derrick, Dalton Public Schools Contributor