Irving ISD hosted an open house for the newly remodeled Robert Scott Pohl Planetarium late this afternoon.
The planetarium, housed at Nimitz High School, was originally opened in 1968 and is one of the first public school planetariums in the state of Texas.
In 2009, the planetarium was upgraded to digital programming and projection. This system was in place until 2019 serving over 12,000 students annually.
The latest upgrades made to the planetarium have taken almost a year due to the pandemic. The Science Discovery Education (SDE) department worked collaboratively with the technology, facilities and purchasing departments to do a comprehensive remodel of the entire planetarium.
The updates include:
- new carpeting
- new seats
- removal of old fixtures
- refinishing and repainting of the theater
- installation of a new surround sound system
- new control console and projector silo and lift
- new laser-illuminated projector with HD capabilities
- new LED cove lighting system for the dome
- new computer/monitor system
- custom control console LED lights designed and installed by Nimitz High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) students
“We are very excited and proud to share the newly renovated planetarium experience with our School Board Members and District Leadership members,” says Dazer. “The renovation took over two years to plan and execute. The facility is the product of tremendous collaboration with multiple district departments including technology, facilities, purchasing, Nimitz High School staff and Science Discovery Education.”
Irving ISD students are taking full advantage of these new and improved changes. As of the open house, all PreK students have visited the facility. Field trips will continue throughout the school year for students in kindergarten, third, fifth and seventh grades. SDE is also planning to expand field trips for additional grade levels.
About Robert Scott Pohl Planetarium
Opened in 1968, the planetarium is one of the first public school planetariums in the state of Texas. Less than one percent of Texas school districts have such a facility. Texas has 1,021 school districts represented by more than 10,000 campuses across the state, and only 14 have planetariums.