To make the most out of your visit, please read through the following checklist and share relevant information with your group.
The planetarium is open to groups Tuesday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. All school and group programs are free of charge.
Please, plan ahead and make your reservation at least two weeks in advance.
A minimum of 25* guests is required for all group shows. The planetarium seats 152 guests with 4 additional spots for wheelchairs.
Step 1: Planning Your Visit
First, decide when a visit to the planetarium fits into your curriculum. To help you with this process, review our Program Descriptions to see what concepts we cover. Plan to make your reservations at least 2 weeks in advance.
Choosing a program
Be prepared to request one specific program (see the Program Descriptions) and to describe your objectives for coming to the planetarium.
Step 2: Making the Reservation
Have handy your name, email address and phone number, the number of people and grade level of your group, the program you have selected, information on your curriculum needs, and the reservation time that you would like to request. Reservations can be made by filling out the online form for group visits.
When making your reservation, if you have students with special needs, please communicate them in your online request so that we may make accommodations.
Step 3: Parking and Directions
Please be aware that there is no free parking on the Ball State Campus prior to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. All groups are responsible for arranging and paying for their own parking. Review our Parking and Directions information before your visit.
Step 4: Preparing For Your Visit & Planetarium Rules
Prepare your students for what it will be like in the planetarium. Discuss the planetarium's rules with your students: no food, drinks, gum/candy are allowed in the planetarium; students must stay in their seats during the presentation; students are not allowed to touch any of the equipment. Cell phones and any other electronics must be turned off before entering the planetarium. If your students have shoes that light up, please consider asking them to wear a different pair of shoes on the day of your visit. Lights from shoes, cellphones, etc. are bright and very distracting during the planetarium program.
Step 5: Arriving at the Planetarium
Remember to review Parking and Directions prior to your visit. Plan to arrive early for students to use the restrooms before your visit. Be aware that the planetarium restrooms are located near offices and classrooms. When entering the building and the planetarium, lead your group in a single-file line. You will be greeted inside the planetarium theater and will receive instructions on where to sit. Please note: The planetarium is opened specifically for your group visit. We do our best to open planetarium doors 10 minutes before your scheduled visit.
Step 6: During the Program
Students should remain in their seats. During live programs, questions are encouraged throughout the program. For an automated program, questions are welcome during the live portion after the program.
Step 7: Exiting the Theatre
Once the lights are completely raised, everyone should check around their seats and gather their belongings. You should lead your group in single-file line out of the planetarium and to your next location on campus.
Step 8: Following Up
Back in the classroom, you will find it helpful to lead a group discussion and/or plan an activity in any subject (art, history, writing, etc.) that is linked to the content covered. We also appreciate any feedback you may have.
*We are occasionally able to accommodate groups that do not meet the required 25 guest minimum.