Kelli Whytsell's preschool class in front of the STARLAB dome

By Lori Parsons

Pleasant Hill Elementary students had the unique opportunity this week to visit a STARLAB dome right in their own gymnasium.

Mrs. Bonnie Sands introduced the students to the magical world of astronomy.

STARLAB is a portable planetarium that was provided to Calhoun County Schools by NASA after a few county teachers were trained to utilize it.

The dome is made from an industrial strength material and is inflated with a fan. It can accommodate about 25 students at a time.

Once inflated it resembles an igloo type structure. Inside the dome, a cylinder projector allows students to view the night sky as it looks that very night in our own county or in a far off country.

The lab will be in the county a few more days before returning to NASA.