The Gene Roddenberry Planetarium
The planetarium was established in 1969 as part of an initiative to enhance science education in America, the El Paso Public School system, the Junior League of El Paso, and the National Science Foundation pooled their resources and constructed our 'gateway to the Universe'. Since it's creation, the planetarium has been a place where well over two and a half million students in the El Paso Independent School District, students from all around the El Paso region, and the general public have traveled to the far reaches of the Universe from the comfort of our 120 reclined seats.
In 2001, the planetarium was named after famous El Pasoan, Gene Roddenberry. Born in the Sun City in 1921, Gene Roddenberry was a pilot of B-17 bombers in World War II and became a famous Hollywood screen writer in the 1960's. He is most famous for his work in creating the science fiction TV programs and movies called, Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry's vision of a future where people of all origins, races, and creeds can work and live together in peace and understanding fits well with our school district's philosophy for the success of all our students. It is just a part of how we make them 'Future Ready' to lead us all into the 'Final Frontier'...
A 21st Century Planetarium
In 2009, the EPISD received a grant from the Department of Defense. A very small portion of this grant went into a major upgrade of the planetarium. The old star machine was replaced with a single all digital projection system called the Digistar. Starting with Digistar 3 and advancing to Digistar 4 in 2010 and finally Digistar 5 in 2013, the future is here now! This powerful instructional tool allows the planetarium to offer programs precisely aligned with Texas state and national science standards that are visually engaging to experience. Our Planetarium facility directly supports the taught classroom curriculum. This aids our students in achieving a mastery of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through instruction designed to be an extension of our science classrooms... These lessons are designed specifically to demonstrate some of the most difficult concepts in all of science in a clear and concrete way that is extremely difficult to do in the traditional classroom.
The Planetarium is a part of the EPISD
Department of Blended Learning.
Manager Planetarium Program
6531 Boeing Dr., Bldg. A
El Paso, TX 79925