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Oct 17, 2012 6:42 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton High School To Reopen Upgraded Planetarium To Public On November 1

Oct 17, 2012 9:48 AM

The 28-year-old said he hopes to one day be able to have his students record their own movies specifically for the planetarium screen. “Technology is advancing so quickly,” he said. “We have the software. Anyone could produce their own animated production.”

In step with Mr. Munkwitz, Dr. Zahn said that according to his philosophy, the planetarium will provide a interdisciplinary approach to learning and should be a place where the community is welcome.

Allen Seltzer, a retired Southampton High School astronomy teacher and Mr. Munkwitz’s predecessor, who first pushed for the new “interdisciplinary theater,” said he has visited the planetarium since its completion. “I think it’s really going to be a great addition to what we—I still say we, because I still feel a part of it—offer to students and to the public,” he said.

On November 1, school officials will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Shinnecock Multimedia Planetarium, and community members and district taxpayers will have the chance to experience what it’s like to have the universe at their fingertips, as well as to check out hands-on learning stations—all a part of the school’s Community Science Night. Likely the star of the show that night, the upgraded planetarium will surely draw “oohs” and “aahs.”

And that’s the kind of reaction Mr. Munkwitz hopes students and other stargazers will experience.

“I remember, as a kid, I’d look up at the night sky and be dazzled,” he said. “It catches you and you’re almost trapped.”

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We parents had a preview of the updated planetarium during the SHS open house for parents last month.

Now...what about those band uniforms we are still waiting for?

By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Oct 19, 12 9:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
(Not to say that updating the planetarium wasn't a worthy expense...it truly does present a host of learning opportunities, as well as a revenue generator should the district choose to operate it that way.
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Oct 19, 12 9:22 AM
There's probably a galaxy out there, for every star that's in our own galaxy, and millions for every star you can see with the naked eye. The Universe is just mind-bendingly gargantuan in size.

This is just awesome, and very worthwhile project. I can't wait to see it!
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 19, 12 2:42 PM
I agree. I remember my first trip to the planetarium in the early 80's when it was run by Mr Sherwood. I was in awe. Glad they upgraded it.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 12 7:35 PM
I used to go to Buhl Planetarium when I was a kid, and I've been to the Vanderbitl. I think that if more people looked up, maybe they'd realize how far we haven't gone yet.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 20, 12 9:21 AM
will the planetarium be opened to the public?. if not, I believe that many would attend.
By hto (12), sag harbor on Oct 20, 12 9:47 AM
Wow, a planetarium! Here is a better idea: Google Earth and reduce my property taxes. This is insanity.
By SHPredatorDept (72), Southampton on Oct 20, 12 11:25 AM
This just goes to show you can't please anybody. A town should be boasting about having such an amazing resource within their learning community. Instead the first comment shows a parent who's not satisfied because their child hasn't received their uniform for band and then you have the angry taxpayer. Imagine living in a community that has none of these resources available to their children - what would you be complaining about then?
By BaymenNYC (59), Manhattan on Oct 20, 12 12:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
The planetarium never should have been built in the first place. How many students each year take astronomy? How many are getting full-time use from it? It is not cost effective and taxpayer money could have been better used for other areas.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Oct 20, 12 10:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
The planetarium is something for the 20th not the 21st Century. How about getting up to speed with technology? The schools in Southampton are way behind in technology instruction for both students and teachers. They all need computers or notebooks to use daily. Without this, our students are not going to be ready for the real world out there. This is a frivolous expenditure just like the "viewing stand" and concession stand for the sports fields. When will the district wake up and figure out ...more
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Oct 22, 12 8:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
How come with its hugh budget ,several million more than WHB doesn't SHSD students all have laptops? Where does all that money Go? Oh yes it's all for the students, oh i mean the teachers/administrators. When you hire a new super next year maybe you could pay him less than the govenor of the state after all it is an easier job.Oh i forgot the standard line if we don't pay him/her alot we won't get qualified people. BS
By sandie (15), speonk on Oct 22, 12 1:28 PM