RU Makers utilize planetarium equipment

Radford University students use the planetarium equipment, located in the Center for the Sciences.

The RU Maker-themed University 100 course was the first taste of the RU Maker community at Radford University.

To finish semester, the University 100 course utilized the planetarium located in the Center for the Sciences. The students learned how to operate the planetarium, including creation of content using specialized software.

“Using the technology of the planetarium and the software contained within it, it allows students to further their experiences at Radford,” said Physics Professor Rhett Herman. “We picked this particular planetarium projector system so that it could be used by Radford faculty and students. Since this was the inaugural Makers Living Learning Community, it seemed the appropriate time to have these students be the first to use the planetarium software.”

Attendees at the presentations included Assisstant Vice Provost of High Impact Practices Jeanne Mekolichick.

"Using the planetarium equipment allowed the students the opportunity to tell their story of Making using an innovative digital format as well as explore another form of Making," Mekolichick said. "It was fun to learn about the students’ experiences as they begin their journey as Makers at Radford University."

The presentations by the students covered their first semester at Radford and their experiences in the inaugural RU Maker living-learning community.

“RU Makers is a residential community that started this fall,” said freshman physics major Keyshawn Chaney. “With the special classes, co-curricular activities and access to a MakerSpace in Perry Hall, the dorm in which the RU Makers live, it allowed for a special experience across different majors. The professors all want us to do our best, so they work with students individually to help us achieve our potential.”

Early in the semester, the class learned how to make basic shapes using the 3D printers in the Peery Hall MakerSpace. By the end of the semester, students were making advanced shapes and figures, which included the classic character Goomba from Super Mario.

The community hosted a variety of build events, which included learning Arduino basics, using a laser cutter and creating a smartphone microscope.

The living-learning RU Maker community is open to all incoming freshman at Radford, regardless of their major. For more information on the RU Maker community, visit its web page.

The planetarium at Radford University hosts evening shows on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a kid’s show on Saturday mornings. For more information on the planetarium, including show times, visit its website.   

Dec 16, 2016
Max Esterhuizen
(540) 831-7749