Background Information for Science on a Sphere® (SOS) Theater

The mission of the SFCC Science on a Sphere® Theater is to increase understanding of Earth’s systems and environments for all learners.

Background

In 2014, an initiative began to open a local site for the Science on a Sphere® (SOS) resource developed by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in collaboration with The National Atmospheric and Space Administration (NASA). Our first working group had representatives of SFCC onboard. The vision “took” and the college made a commitment to do its best to become the first SOS site in New Mexico. Two years later and with $200,000 raised, plans began to renovate Room 803 to become the first (and only, to date) SOS Center in our state.

Goals

Overarching goal is for SOS to be a state-wide educational resource, in particular Northern New Mexico.

Within SFCC the goal is to make SOS presentations and datasets available to all faculty for inclusion in their teaching curricula. Dr. Lenny Gannes as Chair of the Science Department has been the prime presenter and trainer in this area at SFCC.

Outside SFCC the goal is to become an educational resource for SFPS and other related schools within the area. As a science educational tool, SOS presentations could be scheduled for all interested groups from all ages (pre-K to 12th graders to seniors).  We are definitely interested in presenting to 7th to 12th grade Science classes.

One of the original long term goals has been to have SFCC sponsor summer training programs on the possibilities of using SOS in the classrooms of Science Teachers.

As these next several months unfold, we are hoping that you, having visited the SOS Center, are beginning to see the educational potential of this resource and are considering the possibility of becoming a volunteer presenter.

SCHEDULING of SOS

Requests to schedule a presentation originate along two routes. SFCC related requests come through Dr. Lenny Gannes (Leonard.gannes@sfcc.edu). Outside requests come through Dr. Ed Barker (ebarker40@comcast.net), see Educators page for details.

The originator vets the request and contacts the  SOS coordinator  tami.crespin@sfcc.edu who does a check of the SOS Calendar and verifies that there is an available presenter for that date/time. Iterations may take place to finalize a good time for all concerned.

Costs

The cost to operate the center and provide transportation for outside groups is NOT built into the SFCC’s operating budgets. Consequently, any presentation to a group outside of SFCC will cost $100. If combined with a Planetarium presentation, the cost is $220. For those entities not able to pay the $100 charge, please contact us to see if a scholarship could be worked out.

A gift to assist with the center’s operations would be most appreciated (estimated to be around $100 per school group visit). A larger sustaining gift to help with the ongoing operations, including funds to employ a center coordinator is especially needed. If you, or someone you know, would have an interest in contributing to the operation of the SOS program, please use the link below.

Support Science on a Sphere® with a donation of any amount https://www.sfcc.edu/give-now/