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The Calvert Gazette

Thursday, August 22, 2013   Page 8

Planetarium Gets Second Life

Gorski and Hayes at BOE

Sigmund Gorski and Alan Hayes talk to the Board of Education  Photo by Sarah Miller

By Sarah Miller
Staff Writer

The planetarium at Calvert High School may see some dramatic changes before the start of the 2014-2015 school year. The building currently houses offices and classrooms to fill the gap for parts of the high school still under construction.

Sigmund Gorski and Alan Hayes with Volanz Aerospace, Inc., came before the Board of Education at their Aug. 15 meeting to request use of the space for a museum dedicated to space travel, featuring static and interactive displays.

Volanz  Aerospace,  Inc.  is  a 501  c 3 non-profit  Maryland  corporation formed in 1998 “to provide space science and space-related high technology educational and research programs for researchers, educators, and students of all ages,” according to the website.

Visitors to the museum would get the chance to touch and hold items that were designed for space travel, such as helmets and gloves. Gorski and Hayes brought a digital camera made in the 1980s, one of the first, which cost more than $2,000. It holds a maximum of 20 pictures, Hayes said, adding it is still fully functional but finding batteries is a challenge. He said items like the camera, which are interesting themselves and can tell a story, are common in programs Volanz Aerospace offers.

The museum would tie in closely with STEM programs, Hayes said, adding the projection system in the planetarium itself would have to be upgraded, being older than systems in the classrooms.

Board member Dawn Balinski called the idea "very exciting," especially with its STEM implications. Hayes and Gorski will be holding fundraisers, including one near Thanksgiving, to make the project happen.

For more information about Volanz Aerospace, visit www.spaceflightamerica.org.