CLEVELAND, Miss. — Delta State University’s Wiley Planetarium hosted Astro Camp this week, with 1st-6th grade students from Cleveland area schools attending. Campers enjoyed a daily planetarium show led by planetarium director Dr. Maria Weber and participated in multiple stem activities and builds in the areas of heliophysics, earth science, astrophysics, planetary science, space telescopes and more.
Weber said, “The goal of Astro Camp is to give all students the chance to get involved in and experience science, technology, engineering and math to inspire future astronauts and engineers to learn about space with NASA unique activities.”
Campers began each day with a “mission brief” in the planetarium, which set the theme for the day’s activities. On Thursday, NASA education specialists visited and spoke to the students.
Weber said, “It’s been so much fun seeing our campers spark their curiosity and develop an interest in space science. I think we’ve got some future STEM professionals in our cohort.”
The Wiley Planetarium is a key STEM learning and outreach resource for the Mississippi Delta, attracting more than 1,000 visitors from all over the state in 2022. It is the only university planetarium in Mississippi, and one of three public planetariums within the state.
Weber said, “Our mission is to provide STEM programs through public planetarium shows and astronomy outreach events, summer camps, school field trips, astronomy workshops for scouts and community groups, and formal education for post-secondary students. Wiley Planetarium was recently upgraded to a state-of-the-art Digistar 7 software system, which has the capability of visualizing 3D images and full-dome films, and we are planning more upgrades in the near future.”