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StarLab brings unique learning experience to HRA

A group of animated sixth grade students sat patiently, awaiting their turn to enter into the dark, gray igloo-like structure. 
After listening to a brief rundown of the lesson, the students crawled their way through a dimly lit tunnel leading into the inflatable dome. Inside, the students experienced the StarLab, a portable planetarium that gave Hampton Roads Academy students an exclusive understanding of general science subjects along the wall of the dome.

Hampton Roads Academy is one of the only schools on the peninsula to have access to the distinguished StarLab. Students from all grade levels made scheduled visits to the planetarium to learn about cell anatomy, astronomy and geography. Able to accommodate more than 30 students, the StarLab is a great teaching tool for different size classes and is a fun learning environment.

During the StarLab presentation, each class got the opportunity to interact with the lesson by asking questions and identifying constellations on the dome wall using a laser pen. Images of a starlit night gave the feeling of being in space, while other classes use animated projections of mitochondria and ribosomes to put students right in the heart of an animal cell.

The portable StarLab fit comfortably inside of the Hampton Roads Academy lobby, making it easy for multiple classes to visit throughout the day. Students enjoyed having it set up so close to their other classes.