By Paula Ebben

BROCKTON (CBS) — At the height of the space race, Brockton High School built a symbol of that era into their new building – a planetarium.  But the years have taken their toll.

A Brockton science teacher made it his mission to restore it to its former glory, and last month Brockton unveiled the updated space for a new generation.

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“I loved it, it was really cool ,” one student said. “I’ve never seen this, this was a really good experience.”

After years in disrepair, the planetarium is gleaming. (WBZ-TV)

After years in disrepair, the planetarium is gleaming. (WBZ-TV)

The update is thanks to a partnership between the city, 3M and Boston Scientific that helped the school raise enough money through a grant for new digital technology.

Students appreciate a restored gem beloved for generations of Brockton kids

“The planetarium has had a great history in the city of Brockton,”

“It shows how good Brockton High is that they’re allowing us to do things like this,”

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And it’s not just for star-gazing

“Today is not so much a planetarium as it is the neurodome,” Jonathan Shapiro, the head of the science department said. “We are going to be learning about the brain”

The planetarium isn't just for stars. (WBZ-TV)

The planetarium isn’t just for stars. (WBZ-TV)

Shapiro applied for the grant that made the restoration possible. He said things like this are important especially in Massachusetts, where STEM careers abound.

The mayor agrees this is about restoring the past and planning for the future

“We’re committed to getting our kids the technology they need to be successful in the 21st century,” Mayor Bill Carpenter said.

Within the grant, $100,000 came from 3M, $20,000 came from Boston Scientific and the rest from the city of Brockton.

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The mayor says the bonus is that residents of Brockton will be able to utilize the planetarium for community events as well.

Paula Ebben