What happens when a science teacher retires? Well, if you are Marvin Kuhn, you continues to share your love of all things science related with the East Central Education Service Center.
Every school corporation in the state of Indiana has the opportunity to be a member of a regional educational service center. Rush County Schools is a member of the East Central Education Service Center. This center serves 14 counties in east central Indiana with 45 school corporations. This includes more than 94,000 students, 236 school buildings and approximately 7,300 certified staff.
Membership in the Service Center provides access to services such as cooperative purchasing, professional development programs and the repair of audio/visual equipment and computers. It also means that the Star Lab program is available to all Rush County schools.
What is the Star Lab program? Ask any student who’s been a part of this planetarium adventure and chances are they’ll bend your ear for quite a while. The “Star Lab” is a small portable version of a permanently installed planetarium. The lab itself consists of an inflatable polymer dome that can be set up easily in a classroom, auditorium or gym. Inside, a projector can show the night sky, produce constellation outlines and detail the continents of a globe of the earth. For astronomy, the changing motions of the sun, moon, planets and stars can be shown with a whole year condensed into a few minutes.
So, why aren’t you home sipping a cup of coffee Marvin? “I just love to do this,” stated Kuhn. “We have programs designed for each grade level so that each year they are experiencing something new. We may be telling a story or going on a field trip all within the confines of this special lab. There is a great deal of folklore associated with the stars too. When you weave that along with what Galileo did as well as an actual telescope, you have the best of both worlds taking place.”
In the last year, East Central Education Service Center has purchased two more labs that are called Digitariums. These labs have even more cutting edge images that bring all things star-related directly into the classroom. “Even though these new programs have come into being, the name Star Lab just seems to fit whatever lab is being used,” stated Mr. Kuhn.
Mr. Kuhn’s most recent visit was at Rushville Elementary Schools East and West. Besides scheduled classroom instruction, parents were afforded the opportunity to attend Star Lab in the evening and experience a whole new world that truly is in the stars.