School of Science

Yahn Planetarium at Penn State Behrend Now Open

The Yahn Planetarium at Penn State Behrend, a 55-seat astronomy theater, opens Thursday, Nov. 6, after more than a year of renovations and improvements. The facility, housed in the School of Science at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, expands the original mission of the planetarium, a fixture in Erie since 1959.

The Erie County Historical Society closed the planetarium in 2013 to focus on other holdings. Penn State Behrend took ownership of the equipment, which complements the college’s outreach programs, including the popular Open House Nights in Astronomy.

Donald McKinstry, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology (Emeritus)
Email: 

Larry Eckroat, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology (Emeritus)
Email: 

Scott Simpson, Ph.D.

Lecturer in Chemistry
Office Location: 
28 Hammermill
Phone: 
(814) 898 6667

Kelly Miller, Ph.D.

Lecturer in Biology
Office Location: 
181 Benson
Phone: 
(814) 898 7269

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James Henderson, Ph.D.

Lecturer in Mathematics
Office Location: 
18 Prischak
Phone: 
(814) 898 6306

November 5: 'Science Circus' with Rhys Thomas

Behrend Section: 
School of Science
Student Services

Rhys Thomas will perform "Science Circus" on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at the college.The circus is coming to town, and the ringmaster happens to have this show down to a science.

Nationally-known juggling extraordinaire Rhys Thomas will perform “Science Circus” on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. The program, which begins at 7 p.m. in the McGarvey Commons of the college’s Reed Union Building, is free and open to the public.

Students Construct Cardboard City to Raise Money for Second Harvest Food Bank

Sixteen student groups built cardboard homes as part of the Cardboard City fundraiser at Penn State Behrend.Joseph Helbling’s alarm went off at 2:30 a.m. The internal debate immediately began.

“When you wake up at 2:30, it’s easier to hit snooze than it is to roll out of bed and come here for your shift,” he said.

Natalie Mikita, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor
Office Location: 
26 Hammermill
Phone: 
(814) 898 6895

October 23: It's Eclipse Season at Penn State Behrend

Behrend Section: 
School of Science

The diverse colors, the falling leaves, the autumn scents — these are just a few things that make fall a can’t-miss season at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

This year, there’s another.

“Eclipse season is back at Penn State Behrend,” says Darren Williams, professor of physics and astronomy. “The Earth, moon and sun are involved in a unique gravitational dance that occasionally moves one object through the shadow of another. Exact alignment of the three bodies is relatively rare and tends to produce eclipses viewable somewhere on Earth every six months.”