Science comes alive at Easton Center
The Francis Malcolm Science Center, in Easton, may be one of the best kept secrets in Aroostook County.
Opened in 1983 it's the northernmost planetarium in the United States. Privately funded it generates most of its revenue from donations.
The science center reopened Aug. 14 and has become a popular field trip destination for area schools.
Planetarium Coordinator Larry Berz and Outdoor Educator Rita Rogers offered 270 different programs in 1994 ranging from snowshoeing to telescope making.
"The constellation identification is a real popular program her with the students and the public," Berz said.
In addition to the programs they also publish a newsletter and have memberships available. This includes a newsletter, published every two months and admission to all planetarium events for a year. A family can join for $20. Students and seniors can purchase them for $3. School groups are welcome free of charge. They also welcome and host birthday parties.
Berz came from Chicago to work at the Science Learning Center in 1988 and Rogers began full-time in 1992 after an internship the previous year.
Inside the Center is a domed theater. Constructed in 1983 it seats 35 and offers many popular programs on the solar system. Berz plans a presentation on the Hubble Telescope, entitled "Hubble Vision," to begin the 1995 series.
There are also acres of nature trails which Rogers maintains. Among her programs are bird watches and snowshoe walks. She also gets to educate children about the outdoors. They get the opportunity to name and adopt a tree.
With the school year beginning, Berz and Rogers know it won't be long before they're real busy.
"Most of our groups start coming in the beginning of September," Rogers said. "As the weather gets colder we get busier."
The Center is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are some evening and weekend workshops offered.