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Welcome to the Culp Planetarium
high point university faculty brad barlow portrait
Associate Professor of Astrophysics; Director of the Culp Planetarium; Co-Director Natural Sciences Fellows
Astronomy has often been referred to as the “gateway science” of the sciences; it is easily accessible to the public, and almost every person at some point in her or his life will ponder what’s out there in the vastness of space. The excitement and passion kids exhibit while considering what’s in our universe often lead them to become not only astronomers, but biologists, chemists, engineers, and physicists. The aesthetic beauty of the universe can equally inspire people to pursue careers in music, art, and other creative fields.

The Culp Planetarium in the Wanek School of Natural Sciences at High Point University not only represents a state-of-the-art tool for teaching our undergraduates, but also a vehicle for faculty and students to inspire the next generation of scientists and artists around the NC Triad. Our programming extends well beyond just astronomy. Our Spitz SciDome system boasts powerful software that allows us to “fly through” 3D models of the human body, explore geological and other earth science demonstrations, and even execute virtual physics experiments. And our selection of more than one dozen fulldome movies will entertain and educate viewers of all ages on topics including physics, astronomy, cultural anthropology, mathematics, engineering, biology, and more! In many ways, the Culp Planetarium also represents a unique venue for the performing arts on our campus. We are working closely with faculty in HPU’s fine arts programs to develop programming that welds together science and the arts in ways you have never seen. Whether it’s through one of our public shows, a K-12 field trip visit, or other event, we look forward to sharing with you our passion for space, science, and beyond!

Finally, the Culp Planetarium would not be possible without a generous $1 million gift from Rob and Susan Culp and their family. We are forever grateful for their support and privileged to use their gift to provide HPU undergraduates with a unique educational experience, and to inspire kids and their families in the NC Triad.


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