Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

New Planetarium Program: Wilbear's Adventure

Wilbear’s Adventure is a new planetarium show for children and will be presented as the Fall Public Show for October 2005. The story is about a young teddy bear who wants to fly. The program includes some mythology, history of flight, and a few winged constellations.

Wilbear’s Adventure was written and produced by Sharon Shanks from the Ward Beecher Planetarium at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. She wanted a children’s program to coincide with the Wright Brothers and the 100th anniversary of flight. The drawings were made by her 15 year-old daughter Jessie.

The program kit included a narration soundtrack and a CD with pictures. The program was adapted to our planetarium by Nick Makarowski, a junior at Merrillville High School. The CD pictures had to be downloaded and made into slides. The slides had to be coordinated with the soundtrack, a process called storyboarding. The last step was programming the entire show into a time-coded computer program and adding the planetarium’s special effects.