The StarLab is a portable planetarium designed for all ages, kindergarten through adult. Many lessons in Astronomy, History, and even Biology may be taught using it.
The Starlab is valued at over $13,000, making it quite difficult for most schools to have their own. The schools in Will, Grundy, and Kendall counties have access to the educational benefits. The PDA owns and maintains two complete Starlab sets that schools can check out on a weekly basis.
Because of the Starlab's value and the fragility of many of its components, only school staff that have been through our Starlab Training are allowed to check out a Starlab set. Starlab trainings are offered periodically (usually in August) based on interest.
To check out a Starlab set, have a trained instructor call Deanna Chapman at (815) 744-8334 to make the reservation. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. The set may be checked out after 2:00 on the Friday preceding the checkout week.
Please keep in mind that the set consists of several large boxes. The person making the pickup will want to bring a mid- to large-sized car, SUV, or van - preferably with the seats pulled out. There is a $50.00 per set, per week fee to help us maintain the Starlabs. Starlab sets must be returned to the Professional Development Alliance in Joliet by 12:00 noon on the Friday of the checkout week.
For more information, contact us at (815) 744-8334.