Fairgrieve Students See The Stars With Mobile Planetarium

Fifth grader Kendra Runge listens to planetarium specialist John Behn, of Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, explain about galaxies.
Fifth grader Kendra Runge listens to planetarium specialist John Behn, of Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, explain about galaxies.

Fairgrieve Elementary students recently explored outer space without having to leave their school gymnasium.

Fifth grader Kendra Runge listens to planetarium specialist John Behn, of Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, explain about galaxies.
Fifth grader Kendra Runge listens to planetarium specialist John Behn, of Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES, explain about galaxies.

Thanks to a visit from the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES’ mobile planetarium, Fairgrieve first graders were able to “see” the sun up close and fifth graders were able to better visualize galaxies.

Both topics are a part of the New York State Learning Standards for their respective grade levels.

The planetarium featured a model to help explain the nighttime sky as planetarium specialist John Behn provided the fifth graders with various astronomy definitions, a review of constellations and introduction to different galaxies, including the fact that 90 percent of the universe’s galaxies have yet to be observed.

“We’re just a small, tiny spec in the universe,” he said.

Several students were most excited about their recognition of various constellations, especially the Big Dipper.