WEST VALLEY COLLEGE PLANETARIUM
Constructed in 1969, the West Valley College's planetarium has served as the nexus for astronomy education for the past forty years. The current challenge we are facing has two elements to it: (1) technology improvements and scientific advancements have rendered the college's existing facility obsolete; and (2) the state of California is unable to fully fund needed modernization of its public educational facilities such as the planetarium. Despite these challenges, our vision is strong and focused:
To renovate and modernize the planetarium utilizing technological innovations in information visualization to support multidisciplinary teaching and learning that incorporates the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with the integration of the arts (particularly commercial music, digital media, and theater arts).
The planetarium modernization project will ensure this essential teaching and learning facility is well equipped to educate our students and the public for decades into the future. Given the significance of this endeavor to our educational mission, the college wishes to incorporate a naming opportunity as a means of honoring and recognizing a significant donation from an individual, foundation, family, or business.
Background and Vision
In the sixties, the nation placed special emphasis on mathematics and science education due, in part, to the space race. This increased focus illuminates why West Valley College incorporated the planetarium onto the newly established Saratoga campus. Some forty years later, with STEM education continuing to be a national imperative, the planetarium equipment and infrastructure are archaic and no longer able to effectively serve student and public needs. The renovated planetarium would feature up-to-date optical / digital hybrid projection technologies to help learners explore many dimensions of nature: the atom, molecule, and cell - from earth to the edge of space and time.
Renovating, modernizing, and supporting the planetarium would further its purpose to inform and inspire persons about the natural world around us, teach about our place in the cosmos, and motivate students of all ages and visitors to take their curiosity and put it into practice as informed amateur, citizen, or professional scientists.
We invite you to contact us to discuss this opportunity to ensure a vital science education resource is available to students and the community for decades to come.
Planetarium Director and Astronomy Faculty Member
President, West Valley College
Dean of Advancement