planetarium entranceThe Robert H. Johnson Planetarium was founded in 1963, and for over four decades served as a hub of inspiration and education. Many thousands of students visited the facility, learning about the wonders of the cosmos. Unfortunately, during the recession of 2008, the building lost funding, and in 2009 it closed due to a lack of budget. Since then, many voices from around Lakewood and beyond have expressed their grief at the loss of this facility. Some groups even attempted to reopen the facility during that time, but to no avail. Now the community is coming together again to bring this Lakewood gem back to life, this time for good!

The Planetarium is a modest size, with a theater dome with a diameter of 10.1 meters, and 120 cozy seats. Since the building has been untouched for over a decade, there are many structural repairs to be made. These include:

  • Replacing the roof
  • Fixing the windows
  • Repainting
  • Checking for lead paint and asbestos
  • Replacing the HVAC systems
  • Checking the electrical wiring
  • Installing new projectors, speakers, computers, software, and laser system

While this is certainly a monumental task, it can absolutely be accomplished with the collaboration of the larger community. Indeed, this can be seen as an opportunity to paint over a fresh campus, and create something innovative and new, unseen anywhere else in the world!

Together, we will rebuild this old beacon of knowledge, to inspire the next generation of innovators, engineers, and explorers!

Current State

Restoration Committee

Ariel Scisney

Ariel

Author | Speaker | Astroprenuer | Committee Secretary

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” This quote from Sir Isaac Newton perfectly crystalizes the human experience. We are born a clean slate, we live our lives grasping for meaning, and if all goes well we will have learned enough in our short flash of life to leave something behind for the next generation to build upon. Now, after 13.8 billion years of cosmic expansion, 4 billion years of biological evolution, and two hundred millennia of human inquisition, I find myself at the dawn of a new millennium, one of seven billion minds bearing the torch of the grand human endeavor.

I see now that everything is connected. Culture is based on our history, history depends on psychology, psychology depends on neurology, the evolution of neurology depends on biology and ecology, biology depends on chemistry, and chemistry on physics, all of which can be described mathematically. In that spirit, I hope to help humanity by better understanding how consciousness can arise from stardust.

Kate

Astronomy Educator | Committee Secretary

Kate earned her Astrophysics Degree from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2012. During her undergraduate career, Kate was a student operator for the 2D-3D planetarium system in the `Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, volunteered regularly at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station (MKVIS) as a Star Tour and Mountain Guide, and was a Research Assistant for a University Research Professor on Stellar Evolution. Kate specializes in constellations and mythologies, stellar navigation, and stellar and planetary formation.

Currently, she works for a small fiber optic company as the risk/safety, IT, HR and payroll manager, as well as a Planetarium Director for a small STEM playground and volunteers monthly at the Audubon Center at Chatfield as an Astronomy Presenter and Star Tour Guide.

Kate Hall
Britnie

Britnie

Creator of Confident Clarity Astrology | Speaker | Committee Member

Britnie is a business professional and astrology guru. She joined the committee early on after seeing the GoFundMe campaign, and has helped tremendously in keeping the project on track and organized. Her dream is to be able to use the facility as a means of sharing her passion for the cosmos.