Florida International University in Miami has announced plans to refurbish the planetarium at Booker T. Washington Senior High School in the predominantly African American neighborhood of Overtown. The planetarium has not been used for more than a decade. When the renovations are completed in September, it will be the only working planetarium in a public school in Miami-Dade County.
The renovation is part of Florida International University’s Education Effect program which began three years ago as a university/community partnership focused on Miami Northwestern Senior High School in Liberty City. The program was recently expanded to include Booker T. Washington Senior High School.
A new projector, sound system, and new lighting will be installed in the 40-foot domed planetarium. Professors at FIU will develop a curriculum to be used in the planetarium by teachers at the high school. In addition, programs for elementary and middle school students will be developed and students from all over the county will be bussed to the planetarium for special presentations.