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Home | Tag Archives: episd planetarium

Tag Archives: episd planetarium

EPISD Planetarium moving to Crosby Elementary site

The El Paso Independent School District’s Gene Roddenberry Planetarium has a new home in the Northeast.

The EPISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday finalized the funding mechanisms that will help move the 50- year-old space exploration facility from its current location on the EPISD Education Center to the soon to-be-vacated Crosby Elementary School.

A partnership between EPISD and the City of El Paso secured the $1 million needed to move and upgrade the Planetarium. The funding will come from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant the city received, as well as matching funds from EPISD.

“The Gene Roddenberry Planetarium is an asset for EPISD and the entire El Paso Community. We are excited to be able to secure its relocation and upgrades so that generations of students in the region can continue to benefit from its programming,” said Superintendent Juan Cabrera.

“Space exploration continues to be a source of inspiration for our students, and for many of our students that inspiration was first sparked at the EPISD planetarium.”

EPISD must vacate the city-owned Education Center on Boeing Drive by the end of 2020. New central offices are currently under construction near Downtown. The relocation of the Roddenberry Planetarium to Crosby is part of the District’s exit of the Boeing property.

Crosby will be consolidated with Dowell and Schuster elementary schools into the new Coach Archie Duran Elementary School as part of the EPISD Bond 2016 modernization plan.

The El Paso City Council in 2018 approved the allocation of $951,102 in CDBG funds for the relocation of the planetarium and the EPISD Board of Trustees agreed to provide matching funding totaling $208,778.

District officials selected the multi-purpose building of Crosby Elementary as the site for the planetarium and will use the funding to upgrade the facility. The upgrades include the construction of a new 40-foot dome, exhibit seating areas, roof upgrades and aesthetic improvements.

EPISD will temporarily retool planetarium services while the construction of the new facility is ongoing.

The new planetarium is expected to reopen at its new location in early 2021.

Gene Roddenberry Planetarium Hosting Indoor/Outdoor Full Moon Show Thursday

Borderland stargazers are invited for a free night of learning at an indoor/outdoor event at the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium this Thursday night.

The Gene Roddenberry Planetarium Coalition has partnered with the Sun City Astronomers, the EPCC Astronomy Club, and the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium to host a perfect night for the whole family.

While its first come, first served for the indoor show; there will be telescopes set up outside for a great view of the full moon. Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs, as there’s going to be fun, food trucks, and refreshments available during the event.

The Planetarium Coalition is a non-profit organization that has been working to help raise awareness of and funds for the sole purpose of helping keep the Planetarium alive.

Officials with the coalition say, “Though our work is only beginning, we are committed to doing everything we can to insure the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium continues to be a shining star in the cosmic learning of the greater El Paso community.”

The El Paso Herald-Post is a proud sponsor and supporter of both the planetarium and the Planetarium Coalition.

As such, we invite community members to not only attend the free events, but pledge support for the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium via the group’s facebook page.

Roddenberry Planetarium To Host Second Free Show on February 23

After the success of their first free show, El Paso’s own Gene Roddenberry Planetarium is inviting El Pasoans ‘to Boldly Go’ once again.

This time around, it’s a tour of our solar system in fine detail, as Perfect Little Planet explores the eight major planets, starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday evening, February 23rd.

Planetarium officials say the presentation “the show is fully animated and it explores all the 8 major planets of the solar system…it’s perfect for kids of any age.”

Since it’s creation in 1969, the planetarium has hosted well over two and a half million students from the El Paso Independent School District and students from all around the El Paso region.

As part of an initiative to enhance science education in America, the El Paso Public School system, the Junior League of El Paso, and the National Science Foundation pooled their resources and constructed our ‘gateway to the Universe’.

To learn more about the Planetarium, like and visit their Facebook page or log on to their website.

Show Your Support For El Paso’s Gene Roddenberry Planetarium!

Established in 1969, the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium has been a major benefit to El Paso students and teachers by providing an exciting glimpse into the night sky for audiences of all ages, free of charge.

Now the Planetarium is asking for help from the community.

As you may already know, EPISD is looking to relocate the Planetarium to Northeast El Paso. They have applied for a city grant and need letters of support from you, the community, to show that there is a real interest in continuing this tradition of free learning and fun field trips.

To accomplish this goal, the El Paso Herald Post, working on behalf of the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium, asks  you simply submit your name and email in the form below, so the City can see how much we all support this very important part of our community.

But time is of the essence, as all letters need to be received by February 15, 2018.

Thank you!
With your help, we can accomplish keeping the key to the cosmos alive!

Does your business or organization want to join The Gene Roddenberry Planetarium Coalition?


Amy R. Cooley
El Paso Herald Post Outreach


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February 1, 2018 Ms. Nicole Ferrini Director, Community and Human Development City of El Paso 801 Texas El Paso, TX 79901 RE: 2018-2019 Community Development Block Grant; El Paso Independent School District Gene Rodenberry Planetarium Ms. Ferrini, Please accept this letter of support on behalf of (agency/organization name) as it relates to EPISD’s 2018-2019 Community Development Block Grant application designed to save and relocate the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium. (agency/organization name) believes that this endeavor is needed and will serve to advance northeast El Paso as well the entire City of El Paso. The Gene Rodenberry Planetarium has been a source of education, exposure and local resource for thousands of El Paso students, schools and community members for nearly 50 years. It is the only resource of its kind within several hundred miles of El Paso and provides area students, children and community members the opportunity to study and appreciate the universe in its natural beautiful form. We believe that the loss of such a resource would be detrimental to the entire community. Any effort to save this local treasure and community resource should be given tremendous consideration. Preserving this resource will benefit students academically, enrich the surrounding community with the opportunity for exposure to contemporary and historically significant understanding of the universe. We are in full support of EPISD’s proposal to relocate and save the planetarium and house it in Northeast El Paso. Such preservation must be perceived as not only a community good, but a community necessity! Should you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.
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Story+Links: EPISD Planetarium Shows Teachers Safe Ways to View Historic Eclipse

EPISD’s return to classes on Monday will not be your average first day of school.

The district still expects nervous kindergarteners, excited seniors and plenty of traffic around its campuses; but at around 10:30 a.m., the first day of school will take on an unusual phenomenon: a total eclipse of the sun.

The Great American Eclipse will take place Monday, providing an opportunity for students to experience science in action.

Roddenberry Planetarium program manager Evelyn Maldonado was on hand Wednesday during the EPISD Connect at Chapin and Irvin high schools to provide information and show teachers safe ways for students to view the solar eclipse.

“This is all about safety. With science, we are always thinking about lab safety. We want to provide a safe way to view the eclipse without hurting our eyes,” Maldonado said.

She suggested looking at the eclipse through a do-it-yourself pinhole projector, using a mirror to reflect the sun on a wall or even using two index cards. She showcased a projector she made using a shoebox, piece of foil and tape.

“The projector is very simple to make, and it’s completely safe for students to use,” Maldonado said.

The image of the eclipse is projected through a pinhole to the back of a shoebox, so students can see the eclipse without having to look into the sky.

Due to its projected path, only a partial eclipse will be visible from El Paso, starting at 10:30 a.m. and peaking around 11:47 a.m.

“I believe it’s a great teaching moment. Not only for our science teachers but also our history teachers,” Maldonado said. “Solar eclipses have always been thought of as historic moments. Different cultures have their own beliefs of what eclipses represent.”

Alta Vista teacher Minerva Salcedo is looking forward to sharing the special moment with her fifth-grade science class.

“It’s definitely a teachable moment,” Salcedo said. “I remember experiencing a solar eclipse when I was about nine or ten, and it is an experience I will never forget.”

She plans on having her students use the two-index card method, placing one card on the floor and another with a pinhole to project the eclipse downward.

“I think that will be a good way for the students to really get a feel for what is happening and keep them looking at the floor and not up at the sky,” Salcedo said.

The next solar eclipse visible from the continental United States won’t take place until April 8, 2024.

“I really hope they get inspired, and they get excited and share that with their students,” Maldonado said. “I know it will be the first day of classes, but it’s a great opening act for the schools. It is science at its best.”

Some pointers to keep in mind when viewing a solar eclipse:

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