Orange County College is building a new planetarium to better serve its students. It hopes to do more than to better serve the students of the college. Orange County College hopes to serve many of the elementary, middle and high school students found in the hundreds of public schools throughout the California county. Learn more about Orange Coast College: http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/about_occ/Pages/default.aspx and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Coast_College
The new planetarium’s price tag of $20 million will remain the same, but the cost to the college and the state has been reduced by $1 million. The price is reduced through the donation of a retired Spanish and English teacher.
Mary McChesney decided to give the donation out of her fondness for the institution. She said that even though she is old and has not taught for many years, she still loves the institution. She wants to make sure that generations of students can continue to learn and grow because of the efforts of the institution.
The highest portion of the costs of building the new facility will go to upgrading technology. McChesney’s donation, for example, will help fund the construction of a Foucault pendulum. A Foucault pendulum is a device planetariums use to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth.
The Orange County Community College’s planetarium is receiving more than just technological upgrades. The new facility is receiving a seating upgrade over its predecessor. Previously, it could accommodate 35 people. When the new building is finished, it will accommodate over one hundred people.
As one public television personality once said, the new upgrade will allow students to see the greatest show of all: the universe.