The Pottsville Area School District just announced one of its newest projects — upgrading the nearly 60-year-old planetarium.
POTTSVILLE, Pa. — Many people throughout Schuylkill County don’t know a planetarium is inside Pottsville Area High School.
“When it was installed in the summer of 1966, I don’t think anybody would have imagined that it would last to 57 years,” said Adrian Portland, science department lead teacher.
Nearly 60 years old, the technology in the planetarium is in need of an upgrade.
“When I go to turn the keys, sometimes at this point, I don’t know if the machine is going to turn on or not,” added Portland.
“We’ve been in class, and the lights even just shoot purple, and then it’s off, and then it’s back to white,” said sophomore Aliya Dean.
“It’s not that the machine cannot be fixed, the problem is finding the parts to fix the machine. That’s the really scary part,” Portland said.
Being one out of four school districts in Pennsylvania with a planetarium and observatory, the Pottsville School Board is using the rest of the district’s COVID funds to replace everything under the dome, so students can continue learning about the beauty of space.
“I think that it’s so fun that when I go camping or hiking in an area where it’s starting to get dark, and there’s very little light pollution because we’re not near a city, and I can just see and appreciate the stars dazzling, it’s amazing,” said sophomore Charley Brode.
some of Portland’s students are so excited, they’re already planning to come back after the planetarium’s renovation.
“Port will be introducing a brand-new astronomy two class, which is astrophotography and stuff. And even though we can’t take it till we’re seniors, me and Aliya are definitely going to be back,” Brode said.
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