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The Ted Pedas Planetarium

[All Systems Go! Kuzniar artwork]

  • The Ted Pedas Planetarium opened in 1969 under the direction of Ted Pedas for the education and enrichment of both students and community

  • Over the past 37 years the planetarium has gained local, national and international fame.

  • In 1982 NASA selected Mr. Pedas and Tim Kuzniar, a former Farrell student, to produce a documentary of America's first 25 years in space entitled “All Systems Go”. This film has been viewed by over eight million people in 24 countries.

  • Mr. Pedas has welcomed over 100,000 visitors to the planetarium, including Isaac Asimov, international science writer; Astronaut Scott Carpenter, Aurora 7; and Dr. Ron Parise, Columbia Mission.

  • More than one thousand Boy Scouts have earned their astronomy and space exploration merit badges, and 1500 teachers have attended workshops in astronomy and science studies under the direction of Mr. Pedas.

  • This facility has the distinction of being ranked the best in the nation for training student teachers and planetarium directors.

Ted Pedas — Planetarium Director

  • Ted Pedas has been associated with the planetariums at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio and the Farrell (Pennsylvania) Area School District for the past 33 years

  • He was a founding member of the International Planetarium Society, and has been a science writer for magazines and newspapers for more than 30 years.

  • Recognized as an innovator in the fields of planetarium operations and education, he holds a degree in planetarium science from Michigan State University.

  • In 1983 Pedas was selected by NASA to write and co-produce a planetarium show documenting America's first quarter century in space in honor of NASA's 25th anniversary.

  • Pedas' accomplishments have earned him world-wide recognition. His many honors include the U.S. Department of State's Agency for International Development Award for ‘exemplary service in education,’ and the Pennsylvania ‘Educator of the Year’ award.

  • To enrich his professional horizons and enhance his writing and teaching, Pedas has traveled widely throughout the world. His excursions have taken him to more then 200 observatories and planetariums as well as scores of destinations of interest to astronomers, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians and naturalists.

  • Ted Pedas is acknowledged as a pioneer in the specialty field of ocean-going science travel programs. In 1972, Pedas co-organized the world's first solar eclipse cruise aboard the Greek Line's Olympia. This and subsequent Voyage To Darkness solar eclipse expeditions launched the concept of astronomy theme cruises. In addition to solar eclipse cruises Pedas has orchestrated many successful ‘discovery’ voyages, including those to view the Equinox at Chichen Itza, Mexico; the Perseid meteor shower from the Mediterranean; solar eclipses from around the globe; and the return of Halley's Comet.

Awards, Recognition and Honors
(Partial List)

  • Recipient of the Outstanding Philanthropist Award, sponsored by the Mahoning/Shenango Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals - July 2006.
  • Recipient of "John Fabian Person of Year' sponsored by Sharon Rotary Club, January 2006
  • Founding member of the Farrell Alumni "Hall of Fame" honoring outstanding alumni. — October 2005
  • Recipient of the City of Farrell's (Pennsylvania) Centurion Award honoring the citizen of the century — July 14, 2001
  • Farrell Area School District Foundation founder and principal contributor — January 1999.
  • Elected Fellow of the International Planetarium Society, 1996
  • Recipient of the Farrell Area School District Alumni Association's Blue & Gold Award for service to Farrell/Wheatland alumni
  • To honor its founder, Dedication of Farrell Area School District's Planetarium as the Ted Pedas Planetarium, 1993
  • Designated 'Planetarium Administrator Emeritus', Youngstown State University, 1993
  • Buhl Day Honoree for extraordinary community service and volunteerism, 1991
  • Nominee for National Science Foundation Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching, 1984
  • National Aeronautics & Space Administration Grant to write and co-produce "All Systems Go,"   a planetarium program documenting NASA's 25th Anniversary, 1983
  • Finalist for Pennsylvania Educator of the Year, 1981 and 1979
  • Finalist for Pennsylvania Governor's Award for excellence in the arts, 1981
  • Shenango Valley Jaycees "Distinguished Community Service Award," 1980
  • Farrell American Legion Post 160 Education Award, 1979
  • Co-Chairperson of Pennsylvania's Department of Education Planetarium Task Force, 1979
  • City of Farrell (Pa.) Proclamation of "Ted Pedas Day," in recognition of outstanding accomplishments and bringing honor to the city, 1978
  • U. S. State Department's Agency for International Development Award for Service in Education, 1977
  • Farrell Bicentennial Commission Honor for Community Service,1976
  • Farrell Kiwanis Club "Citizen of the Year" award for exceptional leadership, 1976
  • Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce "Distinguished Educator Award," 1972

About Ted Pedas …

Astronomer,  Philanthropist,   Educator,   Innovator of science-travel programs 

  • … “I have known Ted for the past fifteen years, having first met him at one of the very early meetings of the Mid-Atlantic Planetarium Society. Since that time he has become known nationally, as well as internationally, as an innovator in planetarium education …”
    Dr. William H. Bolles, Science Education Advisor for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Sept 10, 1980

  • … “As Governor, let me thank you for your efforts to improve the artistic and cultural life in the Commonwealth…”
    Dick Thornburgh, Governor of the State of Pennsylvania, January 21, 1981

  • … “For the second time in three years, Ted Pedas...has been nominated for the prestigious award of Pennsylvania 'Educator of the Year'. Pedas was chosen by the Pennsylvania Department of Education Citations and Awards Committee for the honor in recognition of what the committee said was his "Exemplary utilization of Farrell High School's planetarium in the teaching of astronomy and space science. Under his direction the planetarium has become one of the best known such scholastic facility in the nation…”

    The Herald, of course is delighted with Pedas's selection particularly since he is a frequent and valued contributor to these pages...He has brought honor not only upon himself but upon his school district and the entire Shenango Valley Community.”
    The Herald, Editorial titled 'Teacher of the Year' November 6, 1980

  • … “I would like to add my small voice to the many others which recommend Ted Pedas for the 'Educator of the Year' award. I have known and been professionally associated with Ted for many years ...he is richly deserving of and eminently entitled to the award.”
    Statement by Astronaut Scott Carpenter   as published in the Hellenic Chronicle, Dec 14, 1978

  • … “You can be my farm manager anytime. …”
    Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon and Ohio farm resident commenting on Ted's masterful implementation of educational programs as quoted in The Vindicator, July 17, 1994

  • … “Pedas not only volunteers his time, he gives generously of his money. His many awards go to young people who wouldn't receive any recognition otherwise - kids who can make it if someone believes in them enough to motivate them to do so. This program has meant much to this group of students, encouraging them to use artistic, musical and craft talents in Planetarium shows and plays. Chances are they wouldn't have used them at all if they hadn't been given this opportunity...He has touched many young people's lives in a very special way.”
    The Herald, Editorial - Volunteers - Buhl Day honoree's efforts are well known, August 7, 1991

  • … “Ted Pedas was Education Director of the cruise and it was owing to his organizational ability and endless hard work that everything went as smoothly as a well-oiled machine. I still meet people who recall the cruise and the success it was. Never did so many people have so steadily good a time without any of the activities usually associated with a cruise. They were being educated and loving it. …Ted Pedas is a teacher in the best sense of the word.”
    Prolific science writer Isaac Asimov comments on Ted Pedas's shipboard educational program. …”

  • … “The Olympia cruise was the idea of Dr. Phil Sigler, a teacher of social science at Staten Island Community College, and his brother-in-law, Ted Pedas, who directs the planetarium at Youngstown (Ohio) State University. Predictably, the group aboard ship were not exactly typical cruise passengers. One third were high school teachers or had university affiliations. Nearly all were sophisticated photographers and most had brought aboard telescopes, long telescopic camera lenses or both. The trip had its share of children, as well, but they were, of course, of the post-astronaut generation. Lectures on " Astronomy for Young People", particularly the under-10's, were far more advanced than those for the passengers generally and explored ionization in the solar atmosphere, element formation by nuclear fusion in stars and the correlation between the temperature of stars and their color. …”
    The New York Times article 'Let There Be Darkness, Please'   by Philip Schrag, July 30, 1972

  • … “Retired people have not retired their brains. They want more out of life than just recreation," said planetarium scientist and NASA consultant Ted Pedas, who launched the concept of astronomy-theme cruises more than two decades ago. Cruise lines at first were cautiously reluctant to market enrichment over entertainment, but many have since come aboard and seek out big-name professors as eagerly as they do top cabaret acts. …”
    Associated Press article entitled 'Learning Among the Ruins'   by Hugh A. Mulligan, June 16, 1999

  • … “Ted Pedas, had collected a group of scientists as "faculty" for our cruise which would be the envy of any college administrator in the world. Every name on our staff is worthy of special note; but let us mention just a few. Neil Armstrong, our first man on the moon; Dr. Isaac Asimov, author of more than 140 science fact and fiction books; Dr. Edward Brooks, geophysicist and one of the world's leading eclipse meteorologists; Scott Carpenter, astronaut and aquanaut; Dr. Joseph Chamberlain, expert in celestial navigation and director of Chicago's Adler Planetarium; Dr. Fred Hess, physical science professor; Dr. Allen Hynek, Northwestern University astronomy professor and U.S. Air Force consultant on the subject of unidentified flying objects; Dr. Charles H. Smiley, veteran of 15 solar eclipse expeditions, and Walter Sullivan., science editor of the New York Times. In addition, no less than seven planetarium directors are on board to assist the passengers in star identification and basic astronomy. …”
    Honolulu Star Bulletin article entitled 'Voyage to Darkness'   by Bay Stewart Leber, July 12, 1973

  • … “Pedas' accomplishments in the field of astronomy have brought him an international as well as national reputation. Yet for all this, he remains a fervently dedicated son of Farrell who finds its faults and shortcomings unimportant when measured against the strengths and widely varied talents, and interests of its people. …”
    The Herald, Editorial entitled 'Ted Pedas Day Deserves Recognition', April 22, 1978

  • … “His educational philosophy is one which I readily adopted in my collegiate study - simply put, learning never ceases, especially when the joy of sharing discoveries is possible. His talent, enthusiasm and energy in making understandable the wonders of the heavens and inspiring students to appreciate science is unmatched. And he lives this to the fullest extent by always being prepared to aid fellow educators and colleagues in the planetarium education field by giving of himself - whether it be time, knowledge, effort, or money. Mr. Pedas' strong personal interest, dedication, and generosity serve as a stirring example of what one individual can do. …”
    Letter by Tim W. Kuzniar, former student, to Pennsylvania Department of Education, May 4, 1984

  • … “Mr. Pedas has exemplified the highest degree of Supervisory and Teaching competence. In addition, he has displayed an exemplary degree of citizenship, philanthropy, and moral character to the community, its students, and citizens. …”
    John G. Sava, former Superintendent of Farrell Schools, May 7, 1984

Links to Ted Pedas, Farrell Alumni, FASD School District
and Farrell, Pennsylvania

E-mail:   Ted Pedas