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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.

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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.