High school students from Słupsk have constructed a cheap mobile planetarium that anyone can build themselves at home. American scientists were so amazed by this idea that they invited them to the Stanford University.
The young designers want to go there so much, but to do this they need 50,000 zloty, which they do not have. They are now trying to raise money.
The Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw set the rules straight:
- build a planetarium within 100 hours
- engage 34 people in the project
- spend approximately 1,500 PLN (390 USD)
Five students from Słupsk and their teacher prepared a project and then carried it out according to the requirements set above. They used PVC tubes, a parachute, a fan and a mirror; plus a computer and a projector to start the show.
The students presented the project at an international planetaria conference in the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, where it was welcomed with great recognition.
The planetarium was constructed by students who have signed up for this contest voluntarily. The Copernicus Centre has stressed that submitted projects have to be cheap and quick to construct. We paid 1,400 zloty for the components, – explains Dr. Mirosław Brozis, a physics teacher from the high school in Słupsk.
This idea impressed American entrepreneurs who were present at the conference, and they decided to help the students by sending them a professional mirror, which was indispensable for the whole construction to work properly.
50,000 zloty to make their dream come true
The young constructors were invited to Stanford for October, 14th. Their task will be to lead the workshops for 30 teachers and animators there. They will build a planetarium from scratch with them, relying on their own project. They will have five hours to do it.
This is an extraordinary situation. Five high school students from Poland are going to teach teachers. American people like such innovative ideas, and for our youth it will be a unique opportunity, – says Brozis.
Nevertheless, the students have not yet bought their tickets. For five people to travel to Stanford and back a total of about 50,000 zloty is needed, and they simply don’t have the money. The school cannot afford to subsidise this project either, and the city authorities limited their contribution to covering the costs of necessary components.
We observe the students’ actions. We admire them enormously, but we have not planned to financially support their journey yet. Unfortunately, our options are limited when it comes to budget, – explains Karolina Chalecka of the Słupsk municipal council.
The students are not giving up. They have launched a crowd-funding action and recorded a video, in which they ask for support. They hope that internet users, to whom the project appeals, will contribute with a penny and help them to make their dream come true.
Parents of our students have contributed, our students and teachers as well. We are all trying to somehow support this project. For now we managed to collect 3,500 zloty, – summarises Brozis.
To see the video, please click here.