About the John Carl Pogue Planetarium
The John Carl Pogue Planetarium, located on the campus of South Grand Prairie High School on the east side of the building facing Corn Valley, is an instructional support facility for all grade levels at all the schools in the Grand Prairie ISD, and in a variety of subject matter areas.
The Grand Prairie Independent School District’s planetarium was constructed during the 1972-73 school year and opened to serve the students and citizens of Grand Prairie in the fall of 1973. The District hired John Carl Pogue as the planetarium’s first director and astronomy class teacher.
Completely renovated during the winter of 2011 through the summer of 2012, the Pogue Planetarium is not only a facility for teaching and demonstrating astronomical phenomena and space science, but is now a full-dome experience with the capability of wrapping its audience with 360° images and video, filling the hemispherical screen overhead. Serving the entire Grand Prairie Independent School District, it is the goal of the planetarium to provide instructional lessons and experiences that help students master learning objectives that are difficult or even impossible to address in the flat-walled classroom and boost performance in areas of learning that have been found to be problematic at various grade levels.
Programs are developed, closely evaluated, and revised through close cooperation with the planetarium coordinator, curriculum specialists, teaching strategists, and classroom teachers.
Students and visitors coming to the facility will not only learn more about the sky, stars, planets, astronomical science, as well as zoom through space and time, but they can also get a close-up view of a tornado or earthquake, walk among the pyramids of the Maya, stand inside Stonehenge, and fly high above the earth. The audience is treated to a near 3-D experience thanks to an all-digital projector system that can project with one lens what formerly took dozens of special effects projectors to do, and its low profile will not obscure the view of the dome as the old eight and one-half foot tall optical-mechanical instrument did.
Planetarium Coordinator Chris Miller works with curriculum specialists, instructional strategists, and classroom teachers to develop and maintain programs, lessons, activities, and learning experiences to best suit the needs and interests of the students in the Grand Prairie Independent School District.