Last Full Day of School Pants: A Planetarium tradition since 2007.
The Neil Armstrong Planetarium at Altoona Area High School hosts high school Astronomy classes and public and private sky shows- come "Inside Outer Space!"
The Neil Armstrong Planetarium at Altoona Area High School (AAHS) is an active part of the Altoona and wider Blair County community. During the school day, approximately 150 high school students are educated in the Planetarium's 2 year-long Academic Astronomy classes (level 3) an 3 semester-long Astronomy classes (level 2). Astronomy is an elective at AAHS, but does count for science credits for participating students. Elementary school groups often visit the Planetarium in the afternoon, particularly students from nearby Penn-Lincoln Elementary, who all make the short walk to the Planetarium with their teachers 3x per year. The Planetarium has hosted groups from every public elementary school in Altoona, as well as Parochial and homeschool groups. A typical evening may see the Planetarium play host to a birthday party, visiting Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Brownies, or Girl Scout group, private sky show, or even a night of our new Adult Night Sky Study course! The Planetarium has truly become a cross-curricular facility, with interactive modules designed for mythology, history, English, and environmental sciences classes. We are expanding our community partnerships, and have worked with the Altoona Public Library, Quaint Corner Children's Museum, Fort Roberdeau, Indian Caverns, and the Church in the Middle of the Block community center. So come visit the Planetarium! There's always something to explore "Inside Outer Space!"
Mission: Our mission is to promote the science and history of astronomy, and a better understanding of our place in the Cosmos, to students and guests alike!
Last Full Day of School Pants: A Planetarium tradition since 2007.
Okay, big announcement forthcoming about our Observatory 1-year anniversary, but in the meantime: Going to be in Philadelphia this weekend? Interested in hearing Bill Birnes from the History Channel, and men who experienced the famous Rendlesham Forest encounter firsthand?
Come to the MUFON PA Conference! My presentation on the Apollo missions will be awesome, I promise!
Simple cell phone shot through the eyepiece of the new, second telescope that Tom Kasner installed at the Mt. Lion Observatory at Fort Roberdeau!
Don’t forget- Exploring the Night Sky- with Lasers! this Friday night at 7:00pm, with special guest speaker Mr. Don Freeburn of NASA!
Special shout-out to 2019 Elementary Planetarium Co-Champions Baker Elementary! The 4th grade class of Ms. Michelle Berkhimer and Ms. Desiree Sipes chose a pizza party to celebrate their championship.
I brought pizza, students gave me two super-hip cards, and we did an awesome half hour-long space Q&A which covered everything from astronauts, the Space Force, global supply and demand economics, and gigantic spheres that alien civilizations might build around stars.
Seriously. These students were into it all. They are bright and excited about science, and will probably change the world. Go Baker go!
Hollah! Mt. Lion Observatory getting some love as its 1-year anniversary nears!
The Mt. Lion Observatory — built just last year at Fort Roberdeau in Altoona — will be a prime place to look to the stars this summer. The new facility
This is 4th Grade at Juniata Elementary, our 2019 Planetarium Elementary Co-Champions! Guided by Mrs. Lauri Mohler, Mr. Chris Perino, and Ms. Jess Hescox, they visited for a bonus sky show yesterday. In fact, they were our first guests EVAH to sneak a peek at our brand new sky show for 2019-2020, “Faster than Light!”
Here, the group shared their Vision Board with me, a drawing of popcorn they used to keep them motivated throughout the year (they each got popcorn for their special bonus visit).
Our Elementary teachers inspire our next generation of scientists every day! Go Juniata go.
Due to only 14 of our 32 original club members turning in legal permission slips for the new date- plus the inclement weather forecast of rain and thunderstorms all afternoon and evening- tonight’s Astronomy Club camping trip to Fort Roberdeau is CANCELED, and will not be rescheduled.
Mr. Krug will be at the Planetarium until 3:30pm today for your son or daughter to pick up his or her camping supplies. Thank you.
Fun times. Please consider coming to our Planet X lecture this Thursday night! I promise it will be awesome.
(Also, Tom Kasner dropping knowledge tonight during Fort Roberdeau’s soft opening for membership! Tom is the best.)
Parents: Reminder- AAHS Astronomy Club students participating in the re-scheduled Fort Roberdeau camping trip need a NEW permission slip with the updated date. They can be found outside Mr. Krug’s office door.
Without the updated approval, your son or daughter cannot attend this Friday’s trip. Thank you!
UPDATE: Astronomy Club camping trip POSTPONED. Fort Roberdeau informs us grounds are thoroughly soaked.
1. Backup date is now in effect: Friday, May 3rd.
2. New permission slips are available Monday-Tuesday next week.
3. If your son/daughter cannot attend the make-up date, Mr. Krug will refund their $10.00.
4. Camping supplies can be left at the Planetarium until next week. Mr. Krug will lock them up.
5. However, perishable food/drink should be removed by today no later than 3:30pm.
$140 worth of groceries after 10PM? Must be Astronomy Club campout time.
New Cosmic Cocktails lecture on Thursday, May 2nd, 7:00pm! I promise it’ll be good.
For families waiting until this morning to buy their Super Mega Fun Day IV tickets, we still have a number available at the 13th Street entrance to the Planetarium!
Despite the downpour and our feature presenter having the wheel of his car fall off on the way there (he’s not hurt; true story), opening night of Super Mega Fun Day IV was a success! Join us for family-friendly activities in the Altoona area all weekend long!
Reminder: Tonight’s indoor presentation by Don Freeburn at White Oak Hall (Fort Roberdeau) is a go regardless of weather!
The only thing affected by rain would be curtailing our evening observation session at the Mt. Lion Observatory. Hope to see you there!
Surprise guest speaker for tonight’s Mt. Lion Observatory event- retired NASA Apollo engineer, Don Freeburn!
Cost is $1.00. First (20) adult guests can buy their own laser pointer for $9.00 when we walk to Observatory later in evening
Pretty legit. Private space flight organization in Israel- only remnant from the Google Lunar X-Prize competition- set to land tomorrow. Love!
Landing the 1st Israeli spacecraft on the moon
Tune into WJAC this evening at 5:30 (NBC) and 6:00 (ABC) for a feature on the Mt. Lion Observatory, and a story about this new black hole image!
NSF's mission is to advance the progress of science, a mission accomplished by funding proposals for research and education made by scientists, engineers, and educators from across the country.
Don’t forget Super Mega Fun Day IV this weekend! Pick up your $10.00 tickets for 7 family-friendly venues, including the Altoona Curve!
Buy your tickets in advance at any of the following locations: AASD Public Relations Office, Quaint Corner Children’s Museum, Altoona Railroaders Museum.
Super Mega Fun Day IV: Happening sooooooooon. Tickets available at AAHS Public Relations, Quaint Corner, and the Railroaders Museum.
Astronomy Madness 2019 concluded today, with student champion Chase Hileman, teacher champion Mrs. Chrissy Falger, and public champion Kenny McClellan. Thanks for everyone who took part in the Madness, and see you in 2020!
Free tournament brackets, management, listings, and prediction contests for sports, games, and other competitions from professional levels to academic to amateurs and everything in between. Create brackets for your own organization or host a predictions contest with your family and friends.
We are down to the Final Four in Astronomy Madness! Is your champion still alive? Find out at:
Altoona Buddy Club with Coach Andy Smearman: Catch the fever. #swimming #basketball #planetarium #friends
Astronomy Madness is down to the Sweet Sixteen, with one 1-seed and two 2-seeds already busted! How is your bracket performing? Visit:
Long day at the Mt. Lion Observatory with Tom, Karen, Chris, and Vern from Starlight Astronomy Club. We jacked the structure up, swapped out the original wheels with special V-track rollers, and began installing new V-track into the steel conduit.
This will allow for effortless and consistent opening of the structure by just one person! Thanks to Tom Kasner for his vision on this one.
My friend Sam Samuel Dietze (R) is a gifted artist credited with the majority of our Planetarium paintings. Here, Sam and his friend George Mahon display some paintings we will have on display. Sam is going to sell them to me at a reasonable price; he just doesn’t know it yet.
Our public sky shows always benefit from the help of highly LEGIT AAHS Astronomy Club students. Great job, teens!
Our AAHS Alumni in Astronomy Mr. Paul Conway and Mr. Davide Conte sharing their amazing career paths with our 6:00 show! Join us tonight!
We WILL have walk-in tickets available to all sky shows tonight, as we feature AAHS Alumni in Astronomy Paul Conway (Class of 1971) and Davide Conte (Class of 2008)!
See our new museum display case, showing Shuttle/ISS astronaut gloves, food, navigational aides, and the pilot’s manual from STS-3 (Columbia) at tonight’s public sky show!
Astronomy Madness is back for its record 12th year! Planetarium patrons are welcome to join the madness free of charge. Picks are due by this Thursday at 11:59PM!
Astronomy Club Conspiracy Day IV. Delicious on multiple levels.
Reservation line is open for 3/22 showings of Galileo: The Power of the Telescope at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00PM. (814)946-8300
Two reminders: Tonight’s “Mt. Pies and Night Skies” program at Fort Roberdeau is canceled due to weather, and the reservation line for Galileo, The Power of the Telescope opens this Monday at 8AM.
Call (814)946-8300 that day to make reservations for our 3/22 show!
THIS IS AWESOME. Lana visited the Planetarium today with her 4th grade Baker Elementary friends, and she brought along this EPIC tri-fold she created on the part of the sky we’re studying!
Her Mom, Lynette- a Science teacher at HAHS- helped her with some tricky gas spectroscopy. Even better, this wasn’t even for a school project! Lana just decided to do something awesome, because she was interested in it.
Go Lana go. #legit
The battle for Elementary glory is heating up! AASD 4th grades return to the Planetarium in March to take constellation quizzes on the northern sky.
The winning school is inscribed on our Elementary Champions trophy, and receives a 3rd visit with popcorn, or pizza party at their school.
Here, students from Mrs. Gardner and Mrs. Luensman’s Juniata Gap 4th grade, and Mr. Routch and Mrs. Hamilton’s 4th grade (defending champs) hone their STEM Astronomy skillz. #glory #honor #astronomy
Sub-Zero makes its first appearance at a Planetarium birthday party! #icecreamscience
Please consider attending “Life and the Universe” at Cosmic Cocktails on Thursday, March 7th. Proceeds benefit the Mt. Lion Observatory!
Pizza party at the Adult Class tonight! #aahsastronomy
This Friday’s “Mt. Pies and Night Skies” postponed until March due to weather. Hang in there everyone!
Our Adult evening class #7 scheduled for tonight, Monday, February 11th is postponed due to AAHS canceling all evening activities. It will be made up on Monday, March 4th. Thanks, and stay warm!
My adult students are far too kind. This is a beautiful gift from Brenda F. This was a book of her late parents. It is about Ellison Onizuka, who tragically died in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. Inside are the autographs of 3 astronauts!
We will find a proper place for this in the Space Race Museum!
Letting our Adult students know where the boundaries are. 😎
Check out St. Francis’s next installment of their free Cosmic Cocktails series on Thursday, February 7th! All proceeds benefit the Mt. Lion Observatory!
Now that the NFL games are over (shocker: the Patriots made the Super Bowl again) go outside and sneak a glimpse at the total lunar eclipse. The Moon is just entering the Earth’s inner shadow, or umbra.
Be careful though: the windchill makes it feel like 0 degrees now. Only step outside briefly, and don’t venture far from your house!
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