“YSU Planetarium” by Casey Henderson, Ursuline student. Youngstown is made up of a multitude of different individuals, all with their own thoughts and opinions on the city they live in. Instead of always having blogs written by the City of You’s creative team, we’re going to change the perspective a bit and allow Youngstown’s youth to shine. A group of high schoolers have been taking a summer course at Youngstown State University with the City of You’s own RJ Thompson. In this course, they’re learning how to blog, make graphics and be more active in the community. They were asked to write a blog about something within city limits that they think should be recognized  more by those who live in Youngstown. The responses that the City of You received were too good not to be shared – so here they are. They are edited a bit for clarity, but are being presented with the same style and nuance that the writer used when he or she wrote it originally. We’re excited to present a new perspective on Youngstown from some of its brightest young minds. Enjoy!

The Ward Beecher Planetarium, located on Youngstown State University’s campus, has been considered a Youngstown attraction since the late 1960’s.

Although most people who visit are not space geeks (like I am), there is still something there for everybody.

The planetarium was founded by Ward Beecher, a businessman and philanthropist. He attended The Rayen School and later graduated from the Carnegie School of Technology. Beecher worked numerous jobs: a traveling auditor, a secretary and a treasurer for various companies. He also served as an engineer during World War I. Beecher eventually granted the science program at YSU a total of 1.6 million dollars. Part of that money was set aside for the planetarium.

A variety of shows are offered at the planetarium, there is something for all ages and interests. Their signature shows include “Skywatch,” which focuses on the changing sky patterns along with the seasons, and “Stars,” a program all about a star’s life, death, and birth.

Seasonal shows are also available at the planetarium, such as the “Holiday Lights” special, which focuses on the winter season in correlation with space. They also host a Halloween spectacular, in which families are encouraged to come in costume and listen to spooky music while gazing at the nighttime patterns.

For those who are not as interested in space, the planetarium offers much more including “Legends of the Night Sky,” a documentary based on Greek mythology. A newer program available to viewers is “Natural Selection,” a program about Darwin’s travels to the Galapagos Islands.

Lastly, many kid-friendly shows are also available regularly at the planetarium. “The Little Star that Could” and “This is our Sky!” are just two of the many children’s shows offered year-round.

Not only does the planetarium offer an educational and entertaining evening for all members of the family, but this one-of-a-kind experience is completely free to the public. The GOTO Chronos Telescope and rounded dome of the facility allow for an unforgettable viewing of the sky, the stars, the comets, and just about everything else, all right here in Youngstown, Ohio!