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History of the Robert Scott Pohl Planetarium

  • Opened in 1968, the planetarium is one of the first public school planetariums in the state of Texas. Less than one percent of Texas school districts have such a facility. Texas has 1,021 school districts represented by more than 10,000 campuses across the state, and only 14 have planetariums.

    The planetarium was upgraded to digital programming and projection in 2009. This system was in place until 2019 serving over 12,000 students annually.

    The latest upgrades made to the planetarium have taken almost a year to complete due to challenges presented by the pandemic. The Science Discovery Education Department worked collaboratively with Technology, Facilities and Purchasing to do a comprehensive remodel of the entire facility. 

    Updates include:

    • New Carpeting
    • New Seats
    • Removal of old fixtures, refinishing and repainting of the theater
    • Installation of a new 7.1 Dolby surround sound system
    • Design and fabrication of a new control console and projector, silo and lift
    • Installation of a new laser illuminated projector with HD capabilities
    • Installation of a new LED cove lighting system for the dome
    • Installation of a new computer system, monitors
    • Custom control console LED lights designed and installed by CTE students from Nimitz HS
    • New programs have been acquired.

    With these new improvements, students in PreK, kindergarten, third grade, fifth grade and seventh grade are participating in field trips at the Planetarium. SDE is also planning to expand visits for additional grade levels to visit.

    Available Planetarium Shows 2023 

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