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School and Group Program Descriptions

Be prepared to request a single program from the list below and to describe your objectives for coming to the planetarium. Please note that all programs begin with an introduction of our presenters and facility and end with a Q&A session. Each program is just under one hour long and the topics covered during the live portions of each program are adjusted to the background of the class and the requests of the teacher.

Once you have selected a single program from the list below, follow Step 2 on our Group Visit Checklist.

Planetarium programs fit into the following categories:

  • Live Programs are live presentations where the planetarium instructor leads the students through various concepts.
  • Automated Multimedia programs present visuals accompanied with a recorded sound track. Afterwards, a short live show will be given by the presenter.
  • Planetarium Labs lead students through a series of observations to help them discover the nature of and causes for various scientific topics. For most labs, each student is expected to bring the lab packet provided by us, a pencil, and something to write on.

Live Program Descriptions

Program Name 

Description

Grade Level

Our Night Sky Explore the current night sky. This lesson teaches the basics of constellations, the daily motion of the sky, the current moon phase, the planets currently visible, and more.
All
The Solar System Explore the planets and other objects in our Solar System. New and exciting information sent back from various space probes will be discussed.
2-Adult
Exploring the Sun
COMING SOON
In the planetarium we can look at the “sun” safely. This lesson covers the different types of stars found in our Milky Way galaxy. This helps students understand the sun’s place as a middle-sized, active star. We will present the basic properties of the sun and cover topics such as gravity, stellar formation and death, and stellar composition. 4-Adult

Automated Multimedia Program Descriptions

Program Name 

Description

Grade Level

Flight Adventures
Discover the science of flight through birds, kites, planes, and more. Learn about famous inventors and aviators of the past and the pioneers who first revealed the 4 forces of flight. Students will be introduced to how NASA is discovering new and safer ways to travel with the help of future engineers and aviators. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
 2-4
Back to the Moon
Narrated by Tim Allen, this show chronicles teams around the world competing for the largest incentivized prize in history, by landing a robotic spacecraft on the Moon for the first time in more than 40 years. Who will win the 30 million dollar prize? After 40 years, the race is heating up once again, get in on the action! Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
3-Adult
Cosmic Colors
Cosmic Colors will take students on a wondrous journey across the "electromagnetic spectrum." Discover the various reasons for color - like why the sky is blue and why Mars is red. Take a tour within a plant leaf and journey inside the human eye. Investigate x-rays by voyaging to a monstrous black hole and then back on Earth at your doctor's office. Students will even see the actual color of a dinosaur - based on recent evidence. Get ready for an amazing adventure under a rainbow of cosmic light. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
5-Adult
Chasing the Ghost Particle
Deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica, IceCube, the biggest and strangest detector in the world waits for mysterious messengers from the cosmos. Scientists are using tiny and elusive particles called neutrinos to explore the most extreme places in the universe. These ghostly neutrinos give us an exclusive way to study powerful cosmic engines like exploding stars and black holes. In this show, stunning simulations of the most extreme places in our universe, and the galaxies around us, are the prelude to a thrilling journey inside IceCube, looking for traces of neutrino collisions in the ice. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
6-Adult

Planetarium Labs

Program Name Description
Grade
Level
Exploring Light As we explore all the colors of the rainbow with our planetarium lights, students will learn about absorption and reflection. Then, we will see the different colors of stars and how that light teaches us about the star.
K-4
Light Pollution
COMING SOON
Too much light pollution has its consequences. Not only does it make it hard for people to study the night sky, it has a disrupting effect on ecosystems as well. We will explore these effects and learn how astronomers respond to light pollution. We will recreate the light pollution you would see at different locations on Earth. Students will use the “sampling method” to measure the difference between various levels of light pollution and develop ways to limit light pollution.
3-Adult
High-Tech Navigation
(and what we did before it!)
Learn about topics such as longitude, latitude, and the space-based satellite navigation system (GPS). First, find out how the sky changes depending on your location on Earth. Then, explore how GPS satellites work while orbiting Earth. Along the way, we explore other satellites that are in orbit. Last, students will be introduced to a real-world treasure hunt – Geocaching! Anyone can play by using a GPS-enabled device like your smart phone. Try to schedule extra time help your students find one on the BSU campus!
4-Adult
Phases of the Moon
Discover the motions of the moon as only a planetarium projector can do. How does the moon move throughout one day or night; or a week; or a month? What causes the phases of the moon? Does the moon rotate? How do eclipses occur? Search for the answers to these questions and more.
6-Adult
Intro to Spectroscopy
Light that is emitted by stars and other objects in space eventually reaches us here on Earth. In most cases, that light is the only thing we have to study to understand the celestial object. But thankfully, it is packed with information! Students will learn how to obtain and decipher this information through various activities.
6-Adult
Seasonal Changes
In this lab, students will chart the changing apparent path of the sun throughout the year as they explore how Earth’s tilt is the “reason for the seasons”. Misconceptions will be presented and debunked as evidence is presented regarding Earth’s distance from the sun and more.
6-Adult
Hunting Exoplanets
COMING SOON
Astronomers have discovered many planets orbiting other stars. But how do they detect them? Are any of them habitable? Students will find the answers to these questions by learning about a planet’s orbit, mass, density, and more. After this lab, students will be able to search for exoplanets at planethunters.org.
6-Adult

Once you have selected a single program from the list, follow Step 2 on our Group Visit Checklist.