Jones planetarium in Hampton gets revamped for classes

 JMMS is an ISS Spot the Station Location
JMMS is one of  100 schools selected as a sighting location for the International Space Station (ISS). 
The chart below outlines viewing opportunities for February 9-25, 2018. For more information
and updates click on the link below.
Spot the Station: Location Hampton, VA 

Upcoming Planetarium Presentation Dates for the school year 2017-2018

September 13th @ 7pm
October 11 (first astronomy club meeting)
November 8
December 13th @ 7 pm
January 10-CANCELLED
March 14
April 11
May 9 (last astronomy club meeting)
June 6
CLOSED July and August

On this edition of Wired In, Jennifer Brown and Teresa Michener from Community Knights, Inc., talk about how their organization helps Hampton schools by awarding grants. They are looking for volunteers to participate in large-scale fundraisers to help fund the grants

Astronomy Club Mission:  to promote scientific reasoning and inquiry for all within one’s community

History of the Jones Planetarium

The Planetarium was built with Federal aid with the school in the mid-1970's as were many others during the Apollo years. From it’s opening until the early 1990's, Richard Joyce, was the Planetarium Director and gave many daily student and weekly community presentations. Due to budget, the position was cut and the Planetarium budget was altered to only cover intermittent presentations through a hired contractor. After a few years, the Planetarium was shuttered. Most of the equipment except for the star projector and some of the sound system were removed. The Planetarium was used for school storage.

During the closed period, the school transitioned to an administration building. After a few years it was transitioned back into a school. In 2001 Bird’s daughter started attending Jones. He offered to chaperone her class to the Planetarium, and was told that the Planetarium had been closed for a few years. He communicated with the HCS Administration and the HCS School Board in the hopes of them staffing and re-opening the community resource. After presenting his case at a few televised HCS School Board meetings, they agreed to allow access to the Planetarium, but there would be no HCS staff or budget. Bird formed the Virginia Peninsula Astronomy / Stargazers (VPAS) online, , and recruited some AstroBuddies in 2002 to join him in re-opening the Planetarium. By September 2002, they had removed all of the wooden structures, replaced most of the ceiling tiles, and got the star projector up and running. That allowed them to hold the first monthly community presentation inside the Planetarium, as well as 8th grade SOL Reviews upon request. Over the last 14 years, all but one of the maintenance sessions was done by VPAS with costs being covered out-of-pocket.


In 2013, Susan Booth working with them started to apply for grant funding and end of year monies.  In 2015, Susan and Sherri Mair formed the Jones Astronomy Club. In 2016 Sara Clemmer and Susan Booth became volunteer planetarium facilitators to begin supporting VPAS’s efforts after raising approximately $15,000. Now in 2017, we are spring-cleaning and moving forward with STEAM ideas. We thank the endless and tireless hours that VPAS lead by Bird has allowed us to reach for the stars and obtain them. THANKS for Being There!

Tijuania Lambert,
Sep 20, 2017, 3:08 PM
Oct 18, 2016, 1:03 PM
Tijuania Lambert,
Jul 10, 2017, 11:55 AM
Tijuania Lambert,
Jun 18, 2017, 7:08 PM
Mar 5, 2017, 4:39 PM
Jan 2, 2017, 4:56 PM
Mar 5, 2017, 4:40 PM
Jan 2, 2017, 4:56 PM
Jan 2, 2017, 4:58 PM