We are Passionate About Inspiring & Demystifying Science
Welcome to Ghana Planetarium Science Center!
The Ghana planetarium science center was founded by Dr. Jacob & Jane Ashong and constructed from their pension in 2009.
We had dreamt of creating a Science Centre and Planetarium for many years, but did not have a site or funds.
Dave Weinrich from Minnesota came to Ghana at the time of the solar eclipse, and we were then renting a building with a large space at the back. Despite a lack of funds, Dave committed to helping us create a planetarium if we committed to building it.
Donations Are Received
Following these commitments, through Dave’s contacts and efforts, initiating, coordinating and organising, we received some major donations: in particular we received a refurbished Mediaglobe projector from an American planetarium, and Uniview software from Sweden.
Jon Elvert and Carol Gikas of Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, Louisiana, donated the projector. Ken Yager and Elumenati donated a laptop and we were supported by Joel Halvorson of Minnesota Planetarium Society, and Dave Burgess who organised an Astronomy Club donation.
The Race To Complete
We raced to create a watertight cover for the dome before the rainy season and before Dave Weinrich returned to America.
Building Work Begins
Digging of the foundations began on Ghana’s Independence Day, March 6th 2008. The floor was concreted and the wall was constructed with concrete blocks.
The dome eventually took shape with metal pipes forming the half-sphere like the segments of an orange. Dave Weinrich arrived in May as the domed roof was being constructed. Dave showed us how to use the Mediaglobe Projector and the Uniview Software, and organised ‘domecast’ with international participants. The metal segments were lined with wooden supports to hold sections of hardboard for the interior surface.
First Visitors & Official Opening
In October 2008, we had our first children’s group visit. Soon afterwards, our first volunteer, Laura, arrived from the UK and stayed for six weeks. Dave came back for the official opening on 22nd January 2009 by The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Dr Nicholas Westcott. Others present were the French Ambassador, the Chief of Nungua Accra and the Director of the British Council in Ghana.
Volunteers Fran and Pete were with us for six weeks in January and February, when we started having regular visits by classes of school children, ranging from age 4 upwards.
Groups from a Special School enjoyed the shows greatly and other
groups have been students, teachers, club members, families, and work groups. On some days we have had groups of 70 or more and have divided them into two groups, to take turns – one group doing activities in the summer hut where we have poster displays, with tasks and worksheets to complete, while the other group watches the digital planetarium show.
For their fantastic encouragement long before this building project started, we would like to thank Ray Worthy and Peter Bassett. For making everything possible, we are forever indebted to Dave Weinrich. We are particularly grateful to Jan Warnstam of SCISS for Uniview software, and to Joanne Young and Mark Zellers of Audiovisual Imagineering, for refurbishing the Mediaglobe projector and to Jon Elvert for securing the donation of the projector.
Thanks are also due to:-
Ken Yager, Carol Gikas, Joel Halvorson, Carter Emmart, Dave Burgess, Nick Barton, Stuart Gold, Laura Youngson, Frances Ling, Peter Sitch, William Tackie, Mike Puplampu, The staff of Quality Distance Learning (QDL) and family members.
Get In Touch with Us
Cantonments – Accra
12 Osu Avenue Extension, Cantonments