Local Children Visit HPU’s Culp Planetarium

More than 100 children visited the planetarium.


HIGH POINT, N.C., March 9, 2020 – Two groups of students from area elementary schools visited High Point University’s Culp Planetarium today to get an out-of-this-world lesson on the constellations.

Local children have already experienced the planetarium at events like HPUniverse Day. While 100 students from Cornerstone Charter Academy in Greensboro, and 15 students from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School in Winston-Salem, visited the planetarium today.

“Wow, it has our logo,” said a first grade student from Cornerstone Charter Academy in Greensboro, as she and her classmates walked inside the planetarium where the school’s logo was displayed on the 50-foot dome.

“You are the first elementary school class in the universe to visit the planetarium at HPU,” said Dr. Brad Barlow, Culp Planetarium director and associate professor of astrophysics.

The students from Cornerstone Charter Academy in Greensboro, and Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School in Winston-Salem, gazed at a constellation map, took a tour behind the planetarium’s dome and watched three short films.

Claudia Beard, a first grade teacher at Cornerstone and an HPU alumna, was excited to return to her alma mater with her students.

“It’s amazing to see their excitement about coming to HPU, and explaining to them that they will be college students someday is so great,” said Beard. “HPU is a unique place because there are so many opportunities here. To be the first class and the first group of students to experience the planetarium is unbelievable.”

The students were also given a map and crayons to draw their favorite constellations.

“We are thrilled to be able to share the state-of-the-art technology in the Culp Planetarium with kids in the Triad,” said Barlow. “Our SciDome system is one of the brightest in the nation, and we’re hoping it will leave quite the impression on our visitors. If even a single student walks away from this experience with a newfound appreciation for science, then we have won.”

“I tell my students that the university has opened up this great space for us,” said Beard. “This opportunity makes me want to continue to show them what great things can happen to them if they choose to come to HPU.”

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