IDEA Place reopens planaterium, hosts art event

November 6, 2014



Staff Reporter


Lindsey Keith-Vincent decided to kick off November for the College of Education with two back-to-back events.




Keith-Vincent, director of the Science and Technology Education Center, helped reopen Tech’s planetarium facility Saturday, followed by an A.E. Phillip’s Lab School art exhibit Monday in the IDEA Place.


“We at SciTEC are overjoyed about the installation of the state of the art projection system from Warped Media and sound system from Matt’s Music,” Keith-Vincent said. “Our hope is that the full dome projection system will provide a unique, exciting and engaging educational experience for our guests and inspire future astronomers, astronauts, educators and scientists.”


The planetarium was upgraded through a grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund.


In the past, the planetarium used standard rectangular projections onto the interior dome’s surface as a means of teaching.


The new projection technology allows videos to be projected across the entire dome, giving new videos a three-dimensional, panoramic illusion.


“Behind the scenes, we started trying to get these improvements to the projection system over 10 years ago,” said Lee Sawyer, director for the physics program. “We brought in outside experts to give us some ideas about how the planetarium could be brought up to date in order to use modern digital projection systems and be compatible with recently developed planetarium shows.”


An admitted astronomy buff, Sawyer said he would like to see more students and members of the public become interested in science through astronomy.


Two days later, Keith-Vincent joined A.E. Phillip’s art instructor Maggie Boudreaux for a unique student art showcase. Students were challenged to base their creations around academic studies such as biology, engineering or astronomy.


The different pieces were made by students varying in ages, each with a unique take on their assigned field of study.


For instance, an older student, Mitchell Craig, created a handheld motorized wagon, made of Popsicle sticks and painted bright red.


Boudreaux said Mitchell also had a role in helping his peers finish their projects and provided help for her.                                                          IMG_7559


“We just had to figure things out by trial and error,” Mitchell said. “I had fun seeing everyone working, and seeing what they could come up with.”


Students arrived at the IDEA Place after school Monday alongside their smiling parents to show their paintings or sculptures.


Next to the numerous works of art was a tray of assorted cookies as a reward for their hard work, courtesy of Keith-Vincent and Boudreaux.


Email comments to bsl008@latech.edu.


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