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Astronomy Class Trip To The University Of Washington Planetarium

Astronomy Class Trip To The University Of Washington Planetarium

Ever wanted an expertly guided view of the galaxies, stars, and planets? Every semester that Northwest University’s Dr. Dan Tomandl teaches astronomy, he treats his class to just that: a self-presented show in the Planetarium at the University of Washington.

A Trip To Outer Space

After meeting his students at NU, Dr. Tomandl accompanies the group by bus to the University of Washington, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1982. The show begins upon arrival at the Planetarium, once the lights dim and everyone settles into their reclined seats to gaze at the 360-degree dome overhead. Utilizing several powerful projectors to simulate the night sky, Dr. Tomandl highlights various constellations, covers a variety of astronomical topics, and discusses questions such as “Do stars rise and set like the sun?” with his captive audience.

Dr. Tomandl and student Joel Corbin ride the bus to the Planetarium.

The group approaches the Planetarium at University of Washington.

The group approaches the Planetarium at University of Washington.

What Makes The Difference?

Northwest University professors like Dr. Tomandl are deeply passionate about their subjects and create wonderful environments for students to engage in class activities through field trip opportunities like this one. What sets NU professors apart from those at many other universities is their commitment to their faith. Dr. Tomandl closed his presentation with a grateful heart and prayer, as well as a scripture reading from Psalm 19:1—“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

Current astronomy student Niko Johnson shares his perspective on the importance of having such a professor:

“I really enjoy learning from Dr. T, a scientist who is a man of God. His outlook on seeing God in the universe and how God has shaped the universe is different and inspiring.”

Dr. Tomandl encourages friends, faculty, and staff to attend this annual show, since there are usually extra seats. Administrative Assistant to President Castleberry Anne Kuchera says she enjoyed observing the stars in this unique way. She comments, “I had a wonderful experience traveling to the furthest galaxies and back again!”

The guests identify star names on the dome overhead.

Dr. Tomandl explains the Foucault pendulum just outside the Planetarium.

Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013