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November 2, 2009
By Kathie Taylor
The University of Nevada, Reno’s Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center and NV Energy invite the public to enjoy free admission to the Planetarium and solar-themed activities Thursday, Nov. 5, from 3 to 8 p.m. Parking in the University’s West Stadium garage is also free for the event.
The day’s activities include the large-format feature film, “Solar Max,” shown each hour on the hour in the Star Theater, hands-on interactive displays, exhibits and free “Sunburst” ice-cream from Tahoe Creamery, created especially for the event. The Planetarium gift shop is offering a 10% discount. Nearby, the ASUN bookstore in the University’s Joe Crowley Student Union is offering a 20% discount on clothing, gifts and general books. Cantina del Lobo is turning Happy Hour into Happy Day with extended offerings of half-priced appetizers and burritos to anyone with a Planetarium flier, obtainable at the free-admission event, and Spudistro will be giving one free drink with each purchase. Both restaurants are located in the Student Union.
The event celebrates the Planetarium’s new wind turbine and solar panel installation, built by Black Rock Solar and made possible by a grant from the NV Energy Foundation. The Planetarium, listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings, was designed with a passive solar thermal system 45 years ago by Reno architect Ray Hellman. The new installation includes a real-time power generation display in the Planetarium lobby.
“The new installation is a valuable resource that strengthens our mission of public and K-12 informal science education,” Dan Ruby, Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center associate director said. “It also revisits the ‘green’ origins of the building through a lens of modern sustainable-energy technologies.”
For every person who visits the Planetarium on Nov. 5, NV Energy will donate $6 to the GreenPower environmental education program. GreenPower, a joint venture between DRI and NV Energy, works with Nevada’s K-12 educators to promote renewable energy education and teaches students to incorporate conscious living practices into their daily lives. Small solar arrays and wind turbines have been installed at GreenPower schools to aid in this educational effort. There are currently 35 GreenPower schools in Nevada.
“We are excited to open our doors to the public to share our partnership with NV Energy to promote our commitment to the community for sustainable energy education,” Ruby said.
For more information, contact Dan Ruby, Associate Director, Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center, (775) 784-4812.