We are honoured to help Sherwood Observatory inspire STEM interest and opportunities in the local community and become a leading attraction.
Sherwood Observatory, located between the towns on Sutton-in-Ashfield, Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Mansfield has recently received Ashfield District Council’s unanimous approval for plans to build a £5m planetarium and education centre to attract thousands of visitors. The 10m planetarium will start building in late August, with the aim it to be finished during November 2024.
On the importance of the new planetarium, Dr Steve Wallace, Planetarium project manager, Sherwood Observatory, states: “Sherwood Observatory is dedicated to bridging the opportunity gap within our community by providing outreach using astronomy as a means of inspiring people of all ages to take an interest in STEM subjects and careers.”
Ms. Bahar Gumus, Sales Manager at RSA Cosmos – Konica Minolta says: “We are thrilled and proud to have been selected for this leading planetarium project in the UK. Our team works hand-in-hand with the Sherwood Observatory team, and this right from the very start, from the project definition, to offer the best turnkey solution”.
Amir Khosh, commercial and project manager at ST Engineering Antycip adds: “Our collaboration with Steve has been a remarkable journey right from the inception of their idea of building a planetarium. We have provided them with support during the initial stages and assisting them in generating interest through our mock ups.”
We will install a 4.4K 2D system in the 10m dome using 2 x 4K VPL-GTZ380 Sony projectors along with our astronomical software SkyExplorer and our powerful software FreeDome which gives access to a wide variety of fun and interactive modules covering a multitude of fields beyond astronomy, such as STEAM Education, Architecture, Product Marketing, Games, and enables users to create their own content using Unity 3D the best and most widely used game engines. We will also install the dome screen, and all the necessary planetarium equipment such as seats, audio and lighting.
The science centre, which will include the planetarium, will be a separate building to Sherwood Observatory, and will sit on the redundant underground Victorian reservoir, built in 1886. The science centre will aim to link the engineering achievements of the past to the engineering challenges of the future, by taking visitors on a journey from the Victorian reservoir to the state-of-the-art planetarium and space science.
“With a persistent regional disparity in educational outcomes and an alarming threat to future prosperity, our area stands at a critical crossroads,” states Wallace. “Through creating a locally grown high-skills workforce, we aim to unlock the untapped potential in our area, foster educational opportunities and drive economic activity propelled by the planetarium.”
Wallace concludes: “This remarkable project owes its success to the support we received from Ashfield District Council and the Department of Levelling Up Homes and Communities. It is through their invaluable contributions via the Towns Fund and Levelling Up Fund initiatives, that this project will be possible”.
We would like to thank Dr Steve Wallace, Planetarium project manager, Sherwood Observatory, and all the teams involved for their trust and support.
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