Who:  The Ohio State University at Lima
What: 
AEP donates $15,000 for Ohio State Lima planetarium
When:
  Monday, July 28, 2003
Where: 
Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce
Contact: 
Pam Joseph at (419) 995-8284 or Erin McVicker at (419) 995-8332
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 28, 2003

Contact: Pam Joseph at (419) 995-8284 or Erin McVicker at (419) 995-8332

AEP donates $15,000 for Ohio State Lima planetarium

The American Electric Power company will present a check for $5,000 to The Ohio State University at Lima at the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce media conference at 9 a.m., Monday, July 28, 2003. The donation is the first of three equal installments over three years for a gift totaling $15,000 toward the University’s newest educational outreach program, the STARLAB Portable Planetarium.

STARLAB creates a unique learning environment that can be set up almost anywhere and will accommodate from 25-35 adults or children. The Ohio State version is 16 feet in diameter and 10.5 feet tall and weighs just 45 pounds. Inside the inflatable dome, the STARLAB is the perfect place to learn more about astronomy, history and other cultures.

“We will use the STARLAB for astronomy and education, beginning with elementary grades 2-5 and some outside community groups like the scouts and the museums,” said Dr. Lynn Sametz, Director of Outreach at Ohio State Lima. “The activities align with the grade appropriate curriculum strands.”

The Starlab is the latest project in a series of educational outreach programs from Ohio State Lima. Past successes include the Many Hats of Agriculture, the Many Puppets of Agriculture, and WorkPlayce. Other current offerings include Inquiry Science in the Environment or ISE and The Car. More than 8,000 students in the 10-county region went through Ohio State Lima outreach programs in 2002-2003.

“This is the only planetarium in the neighborhood and it will be a great way to hook kids into science and math,” Sametz said. “With our inflatable STARLAB, you don’t even have to wait for it to get dark. We bring it right to you.”

The cost for the new STARLAB program varies. With school groups, the first session of the day is $100 with each subsequent classroom on the same day in the same building costing $75. Non profit groups cost $125 per session and for profit cost $150.

A teacher open house is being planned for August. To book the STARLAB, teachers can call Lynn Sametz at (419) 995-8805 or Sara Newman at (419) 995-8064.

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The Office of External Relations
The Ohio State University at Lima
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