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Re: Planetaria in Lecture / Conference Halls

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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