Ghana Planetarium Science Project

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Breakthrough! Posted at UNIVIEW NEWS at

"Today we made history by inaugurating a first Uniview domecast session to and from Africa using the Octopus remote connectivity, making it possible to share a Uniview session over the internet. This marks the first Uniview installation in Africa and we are very happy to add Ghana to our global network of friends! Participating in this inaugural event were Dave Weinrich, Jacob and Jane Ashong (Accra, Ghana), Carter Emmart (AMNH, New York), Joel Halvorson (MPS, Minneapolis, MN) and Ken Yager (Elumenati, Ashville, NC). The participants traveled from the streets of Accra to the edge of the known Universe. This is a first step to adding the new dome at the Ghana Science Center to a growing number of global partners. Dave Weinrich from Moorehead State University is currently in Accra, Ghana where he is helping Dr Jacob Ashong fulfill a dream of building the Ghana Science Center and Planetarium. This project is supported by, among others, SCISS, The Elumenati and Audio Visual Imagineering Inc." Dave Weinrich


Our exciting news at the end of May 2008 was that things were beginning to come together!Dave Weinrich arrived in Accra on the evening of 22nd May 2008 after a two-day journey via Chicago, Frankfurt and Lagos, and was in Ghana for a month to help set things up and initiate training.With Jacob's efforts and the help of the clearing agent, the Mediaglobe digital projector was released from the harbour at Tema and was delivered to our premises a couple of days before Dave's arrival.The dome building was progressing nicely, though not as fast as we would have liked, due to the rainy season.Jacob and his team had been working on the building flat out, sometimes continuing after dark to beat threatening rainstorms in order to get the dome covered for final electrical work and carpentry to be done and the Mediaglobe equipment installed.Dave showed us on his laptop what could be done with remote collaboration. With satellite technology and the amazing Uniview computer graphics we were able to talk to his colleagues in America while sharing our viewing of the interactivity of the graphics. As described on the Uniview website: "Experiencing the size of the universe in the same context as familiar sites is an enthralling and immersive experience." The familiar site in this instance was the local Kotoka International airport. The scale can range from "a grain of rice" to "the edge of the observable universe", with "seamless scaling" and "frames of reference" that can be rotated and moved.We are indeed extremely grateful to all those who have made, and are making, this project a reality, starting with Dave Weinrich and Minnesota State University Moorhead where he is the Planetarium Director, and the Minnesota Planetarium Society. We wish to record our grateful appreciation too to Elumenati, to SCISS, to the American Museum of Natural History, to Audiovisual Imagineering, and to the Irene Pennington Planetarium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Jacob and Jane.

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