New Geospatial Science Center, Planetarium & Telescope
Piner High School’s Geospatial Technology Pathway is part of Santa Rosa City Schools’ Career Pathways program. The District needed a new STEM facility that would shape the Pathway program’s use of specialized technology. The new 5,000-square-foot Geospatial Science, Position, Astronomy, Research and Query Center, known as SPARQ, includes an observatory that houses a powerful astronomical telescope as well as a planetarium that has a high definition digital projection system with the ability to project 3 million pixels on the highly specialized 24-foot diameter perforated aluminum dome. The planetarium is equipped with a full 5.1 surround sound audio system for full audio/visual presentations—a unique and powerful presentation tool.
In addition, the space contains a GIS/GPS lab, outdoor learning areas, and also serves as a classroom for the Space Science and Geospatial Science curriculums. After the construction of the SPARQ Center, the school saw increased student interest in STEM classes and extracurricular activities such as Piner’s Astronomy Club.