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News from the NPSD Educational Foundation

North Penn Educational Foundation helps fund planetarium technology upgrades to bring “starry, starry nights” to NPSD and the community

North Penn High School Planetarium Director James Bauman

March 14, 2022

One of a small number of high school planetariums in Pennsylvania, the North Penn High School Planetarium provides a unique, immersive learning experience. Prior to pandemic social distancing guidelines, the planetarium hosted 300+ yearly visits from NPSD elementary, middle and high school classes and welcomed 1,000+ visitors yearly through Community Education Programs, Scout troops, daycares, private schools and summer camps. Current Community Education Programs are resuming, with attendance currently limited to 35 of 57 seats, and are selling out. 

However, the planetarium technology has become obsolete; with components failing and replacements no longer being manufactured. To address this need, the North Penn Educational Foundation is providing more than $40,000 as part of the funding needed to replace the current system with an all-digital projection system. The new equipment, with additional funding from North Penn School District, will allow for the expansion of programming to reach more subject areas and bring in more community members, as pandemic restrictions lift. 

“We think the planetarium is a very valuable tool for the district,” said James Bauman, Planetarium Director. “It's something very unique.”

The Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1988, is grateful for support through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. 

Funding for the planetarium will be provided through donations that the Foundation received as part of Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program. The EITC program provides tax credits to eligible businesses contributing to Scholarship Organization, and Educational Improvement Organization and/or Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Organization. The Foundation is an approved Educational Improvement Organization (EIO) and can accept Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC).

Further reading

James Bauman, North Penn High School Planetarium Director, shares history and vision for the planetarium with the North Penn Educational Foundation Board of Trustees Dec. 8, 2021.

© 2022 North Penn School District Educational Foundation