does the planetarium dome need to be indoors?
the dome is made of a soft material, it can't sit on concrete
or asphalt surfaces. This would most certainly cause damage. Grassed
areas are also not practical because the dome needs to sit on
a relatively smooth surface such as wood or carpet to maintain
a seal to keep it inflated. Wind and rain are potential hazards
even if setup under a Covered Outdoor Learning Area.
long does it take to set up the planetarium?
equipment takes about an hour to fully set up. However Geoff usually
arrives One and a Half Hours before the first presentation
because it can take extra time to carry the equipment in and to
prepare the floor area. Most wooden floors are vacuumed by Geoff
if our school doesn't have a Hall?
have visited many schools that don't have a dedicated hall. Double
classrooms are usually sufficient. Gymnasiums are ideal. Any cleared
area with a floor space of 6 x 8 metres and a ceiling height of
3.2 metres. The floor needs to be either wood or carpet.
we use a room if the ceiling is not quite 3.2m high?
are able to fit into rooms with ceiling lower than 3.2 metres
but as long as the surface of the ceiling is smooth.
Sprayed plaster surfaces are far too rough and would definitely
damage to dome.
brochure says the dome can fit
30-35 students but we have 37. Is this OK?
really depends on the age of the students. Usually infants are
so little that 45 in the dome is still comfortable. For stage
2 kids, 37 would still be comfortable but for stage 3 and early
high school, anything over 35 would be a bit squeezy. For High
School students, anything over 30 would be less than comfortable.
That said, we've had unavoidable situations of around 45 year
8 students but with a bit of patience and organisation it was
still workable. Its always best to even out the numbers to a comfortable
only have enough students for 1 session. Will you still visit?
we will visit a school for 1 session as long as the school agrees
to pay the minimum
cost. Unfortunately, because there is a lot of equipment
and it takes quite a bit of time to set up, a minimum cost has
been set. This covers us for 60 students (or 80 for outside Sydney).
have a teacher or a student with claustrophobia. Will he/she cope
in the dome?
dome is very safe and looks much smaller from the outside than
it actually is inside. The entrance tunnel is the only section
with a floor. The inside edge of the dome sits on the floor only
enough to seal in the air and keep it inflated. If someone had
a panic attack, they could easily just lift the wall from the
inside. Usually, sitting near the exit helps those with mild claustrophobia.
If a teacher has severe claustrophobia, it's best to arrange for
a replacement prior to that session.
the students pay as they enter the dome?
The kids need to enter the dome relatively quickly in single file.
Money collection would slow this process down. Skyworks is fully
GST compliant and will email a Tax Invoice to the school the following
the students need to bring anything with them to the planetarium?
The only thing the students bring are themselves. Students can
cause damage with pens or pencils and besides, even if they wanted
to write notes, it's very dark for most of the presentation! Food
and drink of any kind including chewing gum and lollies are not
allowed in the dome.
the class teacher stay outside of the dome during the presentation?
Geoff is in attendance only as the presenter and is not responsible
for the students. Child Protection Legislation dictates that there
must be no unsupervised contact with students. This means a teacher
must be in the dome for the full duration of the presentation.
happens if there is a power failure at the school?
dome is inflated by a fan that runs continuously. If the fan stops,
the dome comes down very slowly. In the unlikely event
of a power failure, an emergency exiting procedure involves simply
lifting the dome from one side and everyone is clear. Of the thousands
of presentations I have given, this has only happened once and
the safety procedure worked without a hitch.