CCHS teachers present Starlab portable planetarium; Brings solar system to life for South Colonie elementary students

Students smile outside of the Starlab portable planetarium

This week our Shaker Road students were captivated by a galactic experience! Colonie Central High School teachers Beth Vernold and Jen Tralongo presented the Starlab portable planetarium to the first-grade students at Shaker Road Elementary.

“It was a fantastic experience for the students in Mrs. Boardman’s, Mrs. Sillings’ and Mrs. Furze’s classes,” said Supervisor of STEAM programming Gregory Bearup. “This traveling experience provides students at our elementary schools the opportunity to spark their imagination and allows our educators to bring the universe directly to the students.”

The district invested in the current Starlab in 2019 as a way to expand the Astronomy program at the High School and to enhance the STEAM programming at the elementary level.

“It is a really effective tool for our teachers to educate, inspire and engage students in Science at the elementary level,” said Bearup. “Not only do our students benefit from the experience but our high school teachers get the opportunity to share their passion with the younger students. It is really just a great way to start building those connections and piquing student interests at an early age.”

StarLab is the first truly portable planetarium invented back in 1977 by Philip Sadler and his class of middle school students in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Today StarLab is the most widely used portable planetarium in the world.