January 18, 2024 − Sen. Nick Miller (D-Lehigh/Northampton) and Rep. Josh Siegel (D-Lehigh) today announced they have secured $100,000 in funding for upgrades to the Learning Dome at Dieruff High School in Allentown. 

The dome, which originally served as solely a planetarium, reopened in 2019 and now offers students the ability to study ecology, environmental science, geology, biology, anatomy and astronomy, its original intent. This state funding will go toward updating hardware and software located in the dome.  

“The Learning Dome is an incredible educational resource for our students. Being able to learn in such an environment like the dome is a huge asset,” said Miller. “To keep it cutting edge, we must continue to invest in it, as technology is constantly evolving. Keeping our educational facilities updated is a priority I continue to advocate for.”  

Both Miller and Siegel expressed thanks to those who have donated to the Galaxy Fund, as well as Lee Butz of Butz Construction, who helped raise initial donations to make the Learning Dome a reality.  

“I was proud to secure a $100,000 state investment in Dieruff High School’s regionally renowned Learning Dome. At a time when STEAM- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics- education is so vital to the future of our children, this critical investment in modernizing an incredible Allentown School District asset will ensure that students in Allentown and throughout Lehigh County have access to this state-of-the-art learning experience, making learning about our planet and our universe, exciting and engaging,” said Siegel. 

The Learning Dome is open to all students in the Allentown School District and is not limited to only students attending Dieruff High School. The dome seats 40 and offers students the ability to witness things in third dimension and have a more hands-on learning experience.  

“Investing in the Learning Dome comes at a fitting time for Allentown, as this year, the Da Vinci Science Center will open its doors to a new generation of curious students and visitors eager to expand their knowledge and understanding of exciting new fields and technologies. The Learning Dome is a critical piece of the relationship between the Allentown School District and Da Vinci, as we look to connect learning about science and engineering in the classroom to exhibits and opportunities in our new science center,” added Siegel. 

“We are so excited at all the progress our community has made. With the Da Vinci Science Center opening this spring, we continue to offer our students so many learning opportunities. Updating the dome’s infrastructure will allow even more students to benefit,” added Miller. “With so many options to study, I look forward to seeing how students who utilize the dome turn these passions into hobbies and possibly careers.”