Nancy Waterman in the Planetarium
Presentations have been drawing lots of frustrated stargazers.
The news of the day in the Juneau Empire,
November 13, 1991 was the great sensational comeback of the Marie Drake
Planetarium. This incredible learning starball was first installed by the
school in 1967 for the students of the Juneau community. It was about two years
after the Overstreet family moved to Juneau, when Bill Overstreet
become the school superintendent in 1964 . He presented to the school board the
idea of adding a planetarium to the plans for the new Marie Drake Junior Hign
School. The school opened three years after that with a planetarium room
sustaining a 30 foot dome with concentric seating and the SPITZ starball
machine. Stars would shine in Juneau no matter what the weather.
Albert Shaw was hired full-time to teach astronomy for all the grades. He also presented public shows
Mr. Overstreet left his position in 1972 and unfortunately, the use of the planetarium fell and soon died out. The room was converted into an additional classroom and storage room.
Thankfully, Bill Leighty and Nancy Waterman revived the SPITZ and the star were again shinning in Juneau. These volunteers did not want to see this important learning tool stagnant. They believe in the importance of science education regardless of age.