The Ohio State University at Newark

SciDome Planetarium Wins Collaboration of the Year

NEWARK, OH, Dec. 7, 2017 — For millennia the stars have fascinated, confounded and inspired poets, painters, scholars and dreamers. So, when The Ohio State University at Newark and The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology (The Works) partnered to bring a SciDome planetarium to Newark in spring 2018, the excitement was instantaneous. Now this exceptional public/private alliance has garnered another accolade—Collaboration of the Year—at the 2017 Explore Licking County IMPACT awards, which are presented annually to outstanding tourism partners in Licking County. The award was announced at a ceremony held at Newark’s Midland Theatre on Dec. 5, 2017.

“We are very grateful for this honor and recognition,” said Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald. “The Works is an outstanding community resource for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, and this collaboration will allow us to reach and educate so many in our region in the STEM fields using the latest technology. It will make a significant impact on future generations.”

The $1.4 million SciDome planetarium is being built on The Works’ campus, 55 S. 1st Street in downtown Newark. The 2,200 square foot facility will house a 30 foot tilted dome with 4K digital projection and NanoSeam™ technology and theater-style seating for 60 guests. Completion is anticipated in June 2018.

“We are so proud to partner with The Ohio State University at Newark on the SciDome, which will be a tremendous resource for our community,” said Marcia Downes, The Works’ executive director. This collaboration will allow us to provide enhanced opportunities for interactive learning, introduce a range of exciting topics to all ages and continue to provide quality STEM education. It is an honor to be recognized for this award.”

This dynamic educational partnership will bring state-of-the-art fulldome simulations and interdisciplinary programs to the public as well as Ohio State Newark students. To accomplish this breadth of programming, the SciDome will be a shared facility, open to The Works’ guests and school tours as well as Ohio State Newark classes and programming.

To further facilitate this unique partnership, the SciDome will include a dedicated office for Ohio State Newark faculty member Michael Stamatikos, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physics, Department of Astronomy and Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particles Physics. Stamatikos—widely recognized for his work on Swift, a NASA satellite mission that was ranked the best science mission in its class in two consecutive NASA biennial senior reviews—will serve as The Works’ Chief Science Officer funded through an endowed professorship at Ohio State Newark. The university will also provide funding for three internships each year (one per semester) to assist with Ohio State Newark programming.

Initial programming will include Starry Night and The Layered Earth fulldome simulations. Designed for educators by dome builder, Spitz, Inc., these planetarium presentations can be manipulated in real time to empower educators to customize each educational presentation.

“This is an amazing opportunity for the students at Ohio State Newark and for the Newark community,” added MacDonald. “The SciDome is a very exciting extension of Ohio State Newark’s mission to provide access to the university by expanding Ohio State courses, programs, research and service to Ohio communities.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

The Works is the region’s leader in out-of-school STEM education for pre-kindergarten through high school students, and provides teacher professional development across east central Ohio. More information about STEM programs at The Works is at


Left to right foreground:
Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, The Works’ Executive Director Marcia Downes, Ohio State Newark Assistant Professor/The Works’ Chief Science Officer Michael Stamatikos, Ph.D. accept the Collaboration of the Year IMPACT award for the SciDome.