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Re: Planetaria in Lecture / Conference Halls

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  • KDConod
    I don t think its an issue of being narrow-minded..remember this sort of thing (sans the moveable dome) has been tried before. Spitz built a number of
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 9, 2013
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      I don't think its an issue of being narrow-minded..remember this sort of thing (sans the moveable dome) has been tried before. Spitz built a number of classroom type planetariums. It was always my impression that these were not all that successful. The chairs, which had to tilt, made a lot of noise and often broke, plus school groups made a lot of noise messing around with the folding tabletops. Then there's the issue Sharon brought up.


      Sometimes if you make to many compromises when it comes to multipurpose spaces, you end up with a space that is not really good for any of its purposes.

       
      Kevin Conod
      kdconod@...


      ________________________________
      From: Charles Treleaven
      To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, February 2, 2013 2:07 AM
      Subject: [fulldome] Planetaria in Lecture / Conference Halls

      The sooner we get out of the attitude that Full Dome projection is the preserve of planetariums the better. We need to start thinking sideways, and use the old marketing question - "what is the business of the business" 
    • sharon.shanks
      Kevin - well said. I didn t bring up the tilt or the desks - in my facility, when we got new seats during our remodel, there was debate about tilt for the dome
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 10, 2013
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        Kevin - well said.

        I didn't bring up the tilt or the desks - in my facility, when we got new seats during our remodel, there was debate about tilt for the dome vs. tilt for the classroom (too much tilt, and it would be even harder for the students to take notes and - well, stay awake). Not enough tilt, and it was literally painful for planetarium audiences. We compromised, and now it's not comfortable for either.

        The desk arms, with 6 some years of use, are now noisy; ADD kids bang them against the sides the the chairs. I've started having the field trip students put them up; counter-intuitive, but quieter.

        I also don't see the planetarium equipment being used to its best potential for the Intro to Astro classes, and often hear students, current and former, mention to me at public programs that they "only got to see the stars a couple of times," or were shown only parts of fulldome programs. The dome is mostly used for PowerPoint lectures.

        A better solution is class in a lecture hall, moved to the planetarium when its capabilities are needed. I think Ball State, among others, does this.

        However, because YSU does not have many lecture halls with 100+ seating, this means fewer students per class, and thus a smaller "profit per professor" ratio. My situation will never change; all I can do is make the best of it.

        Note: this are my opinions, not those of YSU or my colleagues. :)

        Even closer to Kevin's observations: the planetarium at Farrell High School (western pennsylvania) - the dome is a better fit to the room, but there are still seats that are under the lower ceiling. The desks were state of the art 30 years ago, with push-button feed back systems that stopped working decades ago. The chairs tilt back. And squeak. Can you say rocking chairs?

        In both cases, students see the equipment (at YSU, the projectors and the dome; at Farrell, the push buttons) and assume - legitimately, I think - that they will be using them or they will be used as part of the class.

        At Farrell, explaining that the buttons no longer work is all that it needed. Telling them to sit still is harder and sets up a "crime and punishment" scenario. At YSU, there is no explaining to Intro to Astro students that the equipment that they are being charged a lab fee for will be used for maybe a week in total out of a 15 week class.

        Like Kevin pointed out, it's not a question of fulldome projection being the province of planetariums. It's a question of trying to force a square peg into a round hole - and the bottom budget line.

        Sharon

        --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, KDConod wrote:

        I don't think its an issue of being narrow-minded..remember this sort of thing (sans the moveable dome) has been tried before. Spitz built a number of classroom type planetariums. It was always my impression that these were not all that successful. The chairs, which had to tilt, made a lot of noise and often broke, plus school groups made a lot of noise messing around with the folding tabletops. Then there's the issue Sharon brought up.

        Sometimes if you make to many compromises when it comes to multipurpose spaces, you end up with a space that is not really good for any of its purposes.


        Kevin Conod
        kdconod@...

        ________________________________
        From: Charles Treleaven
        To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, February 2, 2013 2:07 AM
        Subject: [fulldome] Planetaria in Lecture / Conference Halls

        The sooner we get out of the attitude that Full Dome projection is the preserve of planetariums the better. We need to start thinking sideways, and use the old marketing question - "what is the business of the business" 
      • Philip Groce
        Sharon Shanks assessment is pretty dead on. In the 60 s and 70 s school systems attempted to combine the school auditorium with the cafeteria creating
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 11, 2013
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          Sharon Shanks' assessment is pretty dead on.

          In the 60's and 70's school systems attempted to combine the school
          auditorium with the cafeteria creating "cafetoriums." While adequate
          as cafeterias, they were terrible auditoriums.
          Every day, as a planetarium designer, I have to fight the issue of
          using planetariums as classrooms. They are are always less-than-
          perfect compromises. My biggest issue are folding desks in armrests.
          If the chair backs could stay upright for this usage, it might work.
          However, nothing is less functional than trying to write on a small
          tablet desk when your seat is inclined 35 to 40 degrees. To make
          matters worse, new seating code requires that the row clearances
          include the distance from the front of the desk to the back of the
          seat. This creates minimum, back-to-back distances of around 48".
          This results in a lot fewer rows and fewer seats in the back-half of
          the planetarium. Unfortunately to make up for the lost rows,
          architects are forced to create more terrible-sightline-seats in the
          front-half of the theater.

          Forgetting the cost of projection systems, planetariums are expensive
          classrooms because of the great vertical height they require. In the
          same foot print, an architect can create 2 or three classroom spaces.
          Getting back one of those classrooms in the planetarium is one of the
          reasons why these bad compromises occur. The most successful design
          is to have a dedicated adjacent classroom with equivalent capacity to
          the planetarium.

          This allows classrooms to be classrooms and planetariums to be
          planetariums.

          Phil





          Philip Groce
          Helping Planetariums Succeed, LLC
          619 Orange Street
          Macon, GA 31201
          Voice: 478-750-7870
          Fax: 478-750-7826
          cell: 478-719-0661
          email work: hps4075@...
          email home: groce@...






          On Feb 10, 2013, at 12:24 PM, sharon.shanks wrote:

          Kevin - well said.

          I didn't bring up the tilt or the desks - in my facility, when we got
          new seats during our remodel, there was debate about tilt for the dome
          vs. tilt for the classroom (too much tilt, and it would be even harder
          for the students to take notes and - well, stay awake). Not enough
          tilt, and it was literally painful for planetarium audiences. We
          compromised, and now it's not comfortable for either.

          The desk arms, with 6 some years of use, are now noisy; ADD kids bang
          them against the sides the the chairs. I've started having the field
          trip students put them up; counter-intuitive, but quieter.

          I also don't see the planetarium equipment being used to its best
          potential for the Intro to Astro classes, and often hear students,
          current and former, mention to me at public programs that they "only
          got to see the stars a couple of times," or were shown only parts of
          fulldome programs. The dome is mostly used for PowerPoint lectures.

          A better solution is class in a lecture hall, moved to the planetarium
          when its capabilities are needed. I think Ball State, among others,
          does this.

          However, because YSU does not have many lecture halls with 100+
          seating, this means fewer students per class, and thus a smaller
          "profit per professor" ratio. My situation will never change; all I
          can do is make the best of it.

          Note: this are my opinions, not those of YSU or my colleagues. :)

          Even closer to Kevin's observations: the planetarium at Farrell High
          School (western pennsylvania) - the dome is a better fit to the room,
          but there are still seats that are under the lower ceiling. The desks
          were state of the art 30 years ago, with push-button feed back systems
          that stopped working decades ago. The chairs tilt back. And squeak.
          Can you say rocking chairs?

          In both cases, students see the equipment (at YSU, the projectors and
          the dome; at Farrell, the push buttons) and assume - legitimately, I
          think - that they will be using them or they will be used as part of
          the class.

          At Farrell, explaining that the buttons no longer work is all that it
          needed. Telling them to sit still is harder and sets up a "crime and
          punishment" scenario. At YSU, there is no explaining to Intro to Astro
          students that the equipment that they are being charged a lab fee for
          will be used for maybe a week in total out of a 15 week class.

          Like Kevin pointed out, it's not a question of fulldome projection
          being the province of planetariums. It's a question of trying to force
          a square peg into a round hole - and the bottom budget line.

          Sharon

          --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, KDConod wrote:

          I don't think its an issue of being narrow-minded..remember this sort
          of thing (sans the moveable dome) has been tried before. Spitz built a
          number of classroom type planetariums. It was always my impression
          that these were not all that successful. The chairs, which had to
          tilt, made a lot of noise and often broke, plus school groups made a
          lot of noise messing around with the folding tabletops. Then there's
          the issue Sharon brought up.

          Sometimes if you make to many compromises when it comes to
          multipurpose spaces, you end up with a space that is not really good
          for any of its purposes.

          Kevin Conod
          kdconod@...

          ________________________________
          From: Charles Treleaven
          To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Saturday, February 2, 2013 2:07 AM
          Subject: [fulldome] Planetaria in Lecture / Conference Halls

          The sooner we get out of the attitude that Full Dome projection is the
          preserve of planetariums the better. We need to start thinking
          sideways, and use the old marketing question - "what is the business
          of the business"
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