Reichert Planetarium educator Erin Bennett teaches astronomy via Zoom. (Photo: Vanderbilt Museum)
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National Grid Foundation fuels Exploring the Universe program

The Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium presented its free virtual astronomy education program to underserved Long Island schools, thanks to funding from the National Grid Foundation.

This school year is the third in a row that NGF supported “Exploring the Universe: Traveling Astronomy Program,” taught by educators from the Centerport museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

The program serves the communities and schools of Nassau and Suffolk counties to provide learning experiences about the world of astronomy. Presented live via Zoom, 1,685 students in more than 60 classes participated in the program during the 2020-2021 school year. 

In the last nine years, the planetarium’s astronomy and science education programs have served more than 25,000 students.

“Exploring the Universe,” developed and presented live by Vanderbilt science educators, immerses students in grades K-8 in an engaging astronomy course. The multimedia presentation of “Space Adventure to the Moon” and “Exploring the Solar System” primes students to learn and inspires them to consider a variety of astronomy topics. 

“We are happy to extend our professional expertise in the field of astronomy education to schools that would not otherwise be able to visit the Reichert Planetarium,” Dave Bush, director of the Reichert Planetarium, said in a written statement. “Our goal is to provide quality programming that sparks curiosity, wonder, and excitement. Students who partake in our presentations are afforded highly engaging visuals and activities that leave lasting impressions.”

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