Group Visit Programs.

All shows may not be available, please call (517) 355-4676 for more information.

Pre-recorded Shows.

The following programs are recorded shows. Each lasts approximately 30 minutes and is followed by a 30 minute live presentation of the current evening sky.

Grades Pre-1

You don't need a spaceship to learn about the sun, moon, and stars-just a little imagination! When Big Bird, Elmo, and their friend from China, Hu Hu Zhu, take an imaginary trip to the moon, they learn amazing things along the way.

Instructional Materials

Grades Pre-2

While solving a crossword puzzle about the sky, Scarlet Macaw and her friends explore the cause of day and night, the importance of our star the Sun, the beauty of the constellations, and the variety of objects that make up the Universe.

Grades Pre-3

The stalwart heroes of The Zula Patrol are on an expedition collecting samples of weather for scientist Multo's research. When the Zula gang inadvertently hurts their loyal pet Gorga's feelings, he decides to leave Zula and find another planet to live on. Villain Dark Truder then tricks Gorga into helping with his latest nefarious scheme to rule the universe. The Zula Patrollers find out and go after him-in the process learning all about weather, both terrestrial and interplanetary. Based on the hit TV series.

Instructional Materials

Grades 1-5

Discover our solar system through a new set of eyes-a family from another star system seeking the perfect vacation spot. Fly over the surface of Pluto, our best known Dwarf Planet. Dive down the ice cliffs of Miranda. Sail through the rings of Saturn. Feel the lightning storms at Jupiter. And walk on the surface of Mars. Which destination would you choose?

Instructional Materials

Grades 2-5

The story about an average yellow star on a search for planets of his own to warm and protect. Along his way, he encounters other stars, learns what makes each star special, and discovers that stars can combine to form clusters and galaxies. Eventually, Little Star finds his planets, and each is introduced to audiences along with basic information about the Solar System.

Instructional Materials

Grades 3 and Up

Seasons and the Moon:

Listen to stories of the stars told by Native American Master Storytellers. In this show, you will hear two stories. "Spring Defeats Winter" retold by Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki) and "The Girl Who Married the Moon" retold by Gayle Ross (Cherokee).


Instructional Materials

Grades 3 and Up

North Star and Meteors:

Listen to stories of the stars told by Native American Master Storytellers. In this show, you will hear two stories. "Why the North Star Stands Still" retold by Lynn Moroney (Chickasaw) and "Coyote and the Dancing Stars" retold by Lynn Moroney (Chickasaw).

Instructional Materials

Grades 5 and Up

For thousands of years, Africans have used their knowledge of the sky to build their societies, shape their spiritual lives, and meet their physical needs for survival. Skywatchers of Africa highlights the diversity of African astronomy, examines cultural uses of the sky that developed throughout history, and celebrates our shared human experience.

Grades 5 and Up

Learn how the telescope has helped us understand our place in space and continue to expand our understanding of the Universe. Explore the history of the telescope and the discoveries these wonderful tools have made. See how telescopes work and how the largest observatories in the world use them. View the Galilean Moons, Saturn's rings, and spiral structure of galaxies. Learn about the discoveries of Galileo, Huygens, Newton, Hubble, and others.

Instructional Materials

Grades 6 and Up

This award-winning Google Lunar XPRIZE fulldome planetarium show chronicles teams around the world competing for the largest international incentivized prize in history, by landing a robotic spacecraft on the Moon. The show opens with the first era of space exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s and ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon.

Grades 6 and Up

Discover the wonders of our sun. Its incredible energy has supported life on earth for millennia, but is now threatening our technology and way of life. Travel to the distant future to discover our sun's connection to the universe's cosmic cycle of life and death.

Grades 6 and Up

Were the Apollo visits to the Moon actually a hoax? Have aliens landed on Earth? Can you tell your future by the stars? Prepare to debunk and tackle pseduoscience head-on with this planetarium show. Based on the popular book and website of the same name, this show offers a unique and fun approach to learning about the cosmos. Join the "Bad Astronomer" Phil Plait as he takes a critical look at popular myths and misconceptions to show audiences how science can be used to evaluate questionable claims.

Instructional Materials

Grades 6 and Up

The beauty of a starlit sky conceals the violent forces at work within our universe. From the upheaval of a giant star that explodes to release its material into space, to a future encounter between the Earth and a large asteroid that is too close for comfort, we will witness the forces that hold the universe together and occasionally try to rip it apart. Narrated by Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the X-Men films.

Grades 6 and Up

The delicate balance between ice, water and the existence of life has been a topic of exploration and discovery in science for generations. In travels to the Arctic and Antarctic regions of our planet, we'll examine the ecosystems that live and thrive there and see how their survival is connected with our own. Beyond Earth, we'll see how the existence of ice shapes the landscape and the natural systems on other planets and moons in our solar system.

Grades 6 and Up

Follow along as we leave our home to take you out to the colorful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out, beyond the Milky Way, to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, you will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today's giant telescopes that allow us continue to probe ever deeper into the Universe.

Grades 8 and Up

"Natural Selection" celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of "On the Origin of Species" and the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. We will join Darwin on his voyage with the HMS Beagle to the Galapagos Islands where he was inspired to develop his later theory of transmutation by natural selection. From the comfort of Down House in Kent, Darwin himself will explain the mechanism of natural selection to the audience, and support it by showing many beautiful examples in nature. Even though this show focuses on biology and evolution, a brief astronomical sky talk will follow.

Grades 8 and Up

Join us as we showcase an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider. See the first hints of its existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term "dark matter." From there explore the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda Galaxy and then plummet deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine. Finally journey across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, to learn how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter.

Grades 9 and Up

Can entropy be reversed? What is the fate of the universe? Explore these questions in this timeless short story written by one of the greatest science fiction authors of the 20th century.

All Ages

Many of the familiar customs that we observe this time of year have an astronomical connection. Our holiday offering explores the traditions that we associate with this special season.

Offered only from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Grades K-3

Santa Claus is missing! Mrs. Claus is worried and asks Oatmeal the snowman to help find him. Join Oatmeal and his friend George, the planetarium wizard, as they travel the world in search of Santa. Along the way they are told constellation stories from many cultures and how to use the stars of the Big Dipper to find north. This holiday show is particularly appropriate for young children and their families.

 

Offered only from Thanksgiving to Christmas.


Live Shows.

The following five programs are live presentations. Each involve student interactions and participation. Each live presentation is tailored to the individual grade level. The programs are approximately 1 hour in length. These programs are not available during the summer, please call if you have questions.

Ages 3-5 Years

Basic awareness of the day and night sky are investigated with the help of models, stories, and the planetarium projector. Due to the special characteristics of this age group, the program length will vary between 30 minutes and an hour, according to attention span.

All Ages

A basic introduction to the sky. All of the bright planets and most of the brightest stars and prominent constellations currently visible in the early evening will be found. Storytelling and student interaction will be used to enhance learning.

Grades K-5

Solar system information is presented using models, photos, and student interaction. Students learn to find the bright planets in the current sky.

Grades 2-5

After watching the moon in the sky, students will look for ways to explain the changes observed. Lunar folklore and moon travel also will be discussed.

Grades 4-6

An overview of how the day and night sky change through the year. Students will predict and observe how the sun's path changes over the year and learn how that relates to changing seasons. They will learn why we see different constellations through the year by looking from an earth and space-based perspective.