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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Planetarium

Spitz A3-P Planetarium Projector

Our planetarium is equipped with an A3-P Spitz projection system.  We also have a dozen slide projectors for still image projection.  Our video projector produces a 3 meter video image over the front of the planetarium.  We also now have a mirror based video projection system that can map an image over the entire dome surface.

Sphemir video projection system on it's rack.

Part of the planetarium's lighting system is an Intelligent LED lighting system.  It allows us to address each 30 cm section of the cove.  We are able to produce light shows and are working in conjunction with Ms. Rathbun's music class to make new shows.  Her students produce the music in GarageBand in class and then it is animated an programmed into the control system.

Red LED Green LED Blue LED

 

Mosaic of the dome showing several colors at one time.  This picture was taken during the presentation Roy G. Biv Spectrum Explorer when the dome shows a rainbow

Check out our picture on the KSTM Home Page in the pictures section. The blue ceiling for the planetarium is lit with just the LEDS.

Our planetarium is working toward becoming a paperless learning environment.  Visitors to the planetarium are suprised by the number of computers we have around the room.  The lobby of the planetarium is home to our "Quasar" lab.  The main planetarium and my office are home to the Hybrid Lab.  Students and some visitor groups will use the Quasar lab to do several different online learning activities.  Most students will use the Hybrid lab to do more research related centers.

Our fifty-seven seat planetarium is home to many Astronomy classes, IT Essentials sections, and school groups.  To see the growing list of presentations that we have available please visit our "Planetarium Shows" page.  If you are interested in additional information about use of the planetarium please contact:

Name Jack L. Northrup
Telephone

402-557-4494 (office)

402-557-3720 (switchboard)

Email jack.northrup@ops.org
Mail

3720 Florence Blvd
Omaha, NE 68110

A Little Bit of History

Omaha Public Schools included a planetarium in the renovation of Horace Mann Center to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Science Center.  The location of the planetarium was previously Horace Mann's Vocal Music class room.  When the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Planetarium opened during the 1988-1989 it joined the ranks of the few middle level school planetariums in the United States.  Our planetarium has had several upgrades including the installation of our East Coast Control Automation System, Full Dome and Slide Projector banks, and upgrading the sound system.  The planetarium was included in the building renovation and closed at the end of the 2001-2002 school year for remodeling.  During 2003, the planetarium re-opened with new carpeting, seating, and color scheme.  After the remodeling we upgraded the cove lighting system with LEDs and installed the Sphemir Full Dome video system to replace the slide projector systems.

Over the years the planetarium has hosted a multitude of groups for presentations and educational experiences, leading to our belief that our focus age group is "Pre-K to Gray."


The planetarium's directors include:

  1. Dave Vondra
  2. Doug Showell
  3. Jack L. Northrup