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Peterson Planetarium Six Decades of Informal Science

Peterson Planetarium: A virtual classroom

The Peterson Planetarium serves as more than a virtual classroom to augment on-campus instruction; it has provided an informal science education medium and a means of significant outreach to patrons in the Emporia community and region. The initial objective of the Peterson Planetarium was to address fundamental science literacy concerning Earth’s spatial relationship to other celestial objects in the universe. However, more recently, the Peterson Planetarium has become an important means to stimulate and nurture interest in the sciences as well as careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This six-decade history of the Peterson Planetarium chronicles its development and services with an emphasis on its contributing personnel, programming philosophies that have evolved with new presentation capabilities, and the audiences it has served since its installation in 1959 concurrent with the construction of Cram Science Hall. For more on this article, download Planetarium History.pdf