As part of a tuition at the University of Washington students are required to pay the Student Technology Fee (STF). These funds are then allocated by the student led UW Student Technology Committee, to be applied towards capital investments in UW projects that improve students’ technological access and educational opportunities.
This year Tyler Gordon (Dual-Title PhD in Astronomy and Astrobiology), who also serves as the Astronomy Department’s Planetarium Coordinator, led a proposal to upgrade the planetarium’s aging infrastructure and replace it with a state-of-the-art system. Tyler’s project, which was one of 15 selected this quarter, will be awarded $75,520 to purchase 7 new Optima ZU750 laser phosphor illumination projectors. These new projectors are expected to serve the planetarium for years to come and vastly improve its quality and operating efficiency.
These upgrades to the Astronomy Department’s planetarium will also benefit the Astrobiology Program as well, via educational and public outreach training for our Dual-Title PhD students, who often volunteer to lead presentations on a range of astronomical topics, including Astrobiology, in the planetarium!
Congratulations Tyler on your successful proposal and we can’t wait to see how it all looks when the project is completed!