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School and Group Programs

In our planetarium, concepts can be demonstrated in ways that are impossible in a classroom. This is especially true of three-dimensional concepts such as seasons. Here, we travel through a year's worth of night skies in a matter of minutes. For teacher, this translates into enhanced learning for their students and a more efficient use of conventional classroom time.

Our programs, which explore constellations, planets, galaxies, black holes, and more, are enhanced by various audiovisual special effects.

Program Name Description

Grade Level

Live Sky-Show Presentation This includes concepts such as constellations, the daily motion of the sky, and the planets currently visible. The subject level and topics covered are adjusted to the background of the class and the requests of the teacher. (This is the only option for classes larger than 40 that also wish to tour the observatory.) All ages.

All

Larry Cat in Space* This is the story of a cat that is a stowaway on a trip to the moon. Concepts taught are gravity, weightlessness, and the moon.

K - 1

The Sky An introduction to the planetarium and topics including seasonal patterns, the day/night cycle, apparent motions of the moon and sun, lunar phases, and the stars at night.

2 - 3

Images of the Infinite Since its deployment in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided us with spectacular, awe-inspiring images and enriched our understanding of the universe. These images help scientists to document the life cycle of stars. The Hubble Deep Field image has provided scientists with one of the deepest core samples ever taken of the universe. This program highlights the history and top science findings of the telescope, as well as taking you on a tour through the solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy and to the limits of the visible universe using spectacular Hubble images. This program addresses or relates to Indiana State Education Social Science Standards: (ES.2.2)

4 - H.S.

The Explorers Exploration is the hallmark of our species. Curiosity drives us to venture into the unknown. This program provides a unique look at human exploration of the Pacific Ocean by Polynesian people and the coming human exploration of Mars.

6 - H.S.

The Planets Come along on a trip through the solar system and see the Grand Canyon of Mars, the stunning rings of Saturn, and visit Pluto where our sun is just another bright star in the night sky. The sun and its array of planets, moons, and comets is just one example of countless such systems in our galaxy. This program addresses or relates to Indiana State Education Science Standards (5.2.1), (6.2.3), (6.2.4), (ES.2.1), (ES.2.2)

5 - H.S.

The Search for Another Earth We now know of hundreds of planets orbiting nearby stars. Many of these planets are unlike anything astronomers expected to find. Astronomers are on the verge of discovering planets like Earth. Learn how these discoveries are made and how we can search for life on these new worlds.

6 - H.S.

The Missing Universe Astronomers have made profound discoveries about the makeup of the universe and its history. The stars and galaxies we see around us are but a very small part of a much larger invisible universe. This program explores a universe filled with dark matter and dark energy that is expanding with ever accelerating speed.

7 - H.S.

*Sponsored by a grant from the Indiana Space Grant Consortium (NASA).

Teachers can combine a visit to our planetarium with trips to other interesting sites.

Reservations can be made by filling out the online form for group visits.

For more information email planetarium@bsu.edu or contact our department.

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Ball State University
Cooper Physical Science Building, room 101
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday (Summer Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Phone: 765-285-8860
Fax: 765-285-5674
View E-mail Address