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PCC Assisting with ATFS Planetarium Project

By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director

An artist's rendering shows the proposed planetarium dome and resource center at A Time For Science Nature and Learning Center in Grifton.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College has pledged its support to a project that calls for construction of a planetarium on the campus of Grifton’s A Time for Science Nature and Science Learning Center (ATFS).

According to an ATFS press release, the Chia-yu Li Memorial Planetarium—named for a longtime science educator who chaired East Carolina University’s Chemistry Department before he passed away in 2005—will provide students and area residents with easy access to astronomy, space science and a planetarium experience.

Fundraising for the facility, which will consist of a geodesic dome housing an inflatable projection dome and state-of-the-art digital projector, is well underway. Already, more than $200,000 has been pledged toward the $500,000-project.

For its part, PCC has agreed to provide the planetarium’s smaller, inflatable dome, which will be available to the college’s astronomy classes when the main dome is not in use.

“I am convinced that this is an eminently doable project that will greatly expand STEM education, tourism and economic development potentials of Pitt, Lenoir, Greene and surrounding counties,” said Dr. John Bray, who founded ATFS along with his wife, Nancy.

Bray added that if the planetarium fundraising goal is exceeded, surplus revenue would go toward the future addition of an observatory at the non-profit science center.

For more information on contributing to the planetarium’s construction, visit www.atimeforscience.org, or contact Executive Director Emily Jarvis at emily@atimeforscience.org or (252) 531-7203.