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Planetarium: Information for School Groups

School groups are always welcome at any of the planetarium's regularly scheduled shows, but the planetarium is also pleased to offer special shows for groups of at least 15 by request.  Generally the theater is available at 10 a.m. every day or by request between other shows for any offering seen here.  

For questions about availability, please fill out the Schoolgroup Reservation Form or contact Alaina Wiwi at (505) 841-2869

About our Shows

Every planetarium show comes with a live component!  Enchanted Skies is our full-length live show, but all of the movies below also have a short, 15-20 minute live presentation included before they start. 

Any request for content and educational needs or goals made at the time of registration will be integrated into shows when possible.

Available Planetarium Shows

1st Grade and Up
2nd Grade and Up
2nd Grade and Up
4th Grade and Up
5th Grade and Up
All Ages
All Ages
Elementary School and Up
Middle School and Up

Earth's Wild Ride

Imagine Earth were a distant place you once called home but could never visit again. What would you remember most about the planet, and how would you describe it to your grandchildren?

Set on the surface of the Moon in the year 2081, a grandfather and granddaughter watch a solar eclipse from scenic cliffs overlooking their moon colony. Conversation leads to contrasts between the moon, the only home the granddaughter knows, and the Earth, where the grandfather has spent most of his life.

As they watch the Moon's shadow move across Earth, the grandfather tells stories of crashing asteroids, erupting volcanoes, roaring dinosaurs, electrifying lightning and booming thunder. Each experience begins with a telescope view of the dynamic Earth in stark contrast with the unchanging lunar landscape.
Earth's Wild Ride is like many tales shared by grandparents over the centuries, except "the old country" is really another planet, always visible from the moon base, but totally unlike the granddaughter's world. While learning about eclipses, the ice age, Earth's water cycle and differences between the Earth and Moon, the audience is taken on a roller-coaster-like ride through canyons of raging rivers and hot flowing lava. Adventure and appreciation for home fill this journey back to the Earth.

Produced in collaboration with Rice University, through NASA's Immersive Earth Project.

Suitable for:
1st Grade and Up

Fractals

The Fractal Foundation is now offering their spectacular, award-winning full-dome planetarium shows for school groups. This 50-minute show takes viewers on a tour of the fractals in nature and zooms through infinitely complex mathematical fractals. Featuring original music, the show is both educational and highly entertaining. To schedule a fractal show for your group and learn about pricing, contact emma@fractalfoundation.org or 505-615-4590.

Suitable for:
2nd Grade and Up

First Friday Fractals

Fractals will return when the museum has sufficient staffing to reopen on first Friday evenings.

First Friday of Each Month at 6, 7, 8 & 9 p.m.

Explore the never-ending world of fractals in this award-winning and inspiring planetarium program. The shows take audiences on a journey through the infinitely complex patterns known as fractals. This live, narrated show explores the fractal patterns in nature as well showing how math can become incredibly beautiful. The abstract landscapes that emerge from simple equations inspire fascination and wonder as they bring us face to face with the infinite.

Shows frequently sell out.  Purchase tickets in advance from the Fractal Foundation

Suitable for:
2nd Grade and Up

Dawn of the Space Age

From the first satellite, Sputnik, all the way to human missions and robotic explorations, this exciting program allows you to witness key moments in the history of space flight.

 

 

 

 

 

Suitable for:
4th Grade and Up

Back to the Moon: For Good

Back To The Moon For Good is an exciting, educational fulldome show narrated by award-winning actor Tim Allen. The 25-minute digital film highlights the history of exploring the moon and provides an insider’s look at the teams vying for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest incentivized prize in history.

The show opens in the 1960s and 70s with the landers and orbiters that taught us the moon’s origin, composition, structure and the accessibility of raw materials on its surface. The Apollo missions which brought humans to the lunar surface are relived. Then the program looks to the future with the Google Lunar XPRIZE, which is designed to create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the moon. We see the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft. The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future.

The movie is preceeded by a brief (15-20 minute) live presentation about the night sky.

Suitable for:
5th Grade and Up

Perfect Little Planet

Join a family of space aliens as they tour our solar system in search of the ideal vacation destination.  Along the way, learn interesting facts about all of the planets and even some moons.

Suitable for:
All Ages

Incoming!

 

Narrated by George Takei, our award-winning planetarium show explores asteroids, comets, and the hard-hitting stories of our cosmic origins.

Embark on a journey back in time and across the Solar System, following the paths of asteroids and comets that have collided with Earth—and those that roam far from home. These ancient objects travel billions of years before reaching Earth, and their impact can be so powerful that just one collision can change the course of life on our planet.

Scientists aren't waiting for asteroids and comets to come to us to learn more about them—get an up-close look at spacecraft sent to rocky asteroids and icy comets to collect invaluable data. You’ll follow the trek of the Chelyabinsk meteor as it entered the Earth's atmosphere in 2013 and visualize major shifts in the history of the Solar System billions of years in the making—and all in under an hour.

Suitable for:
All Ages

Earth, Moon & Sun

Coyote Has A Razor-Sharp Wit... 
But He’s A Little Confused About What He Sees in The Sky. 
Join this amusing character (adapted from American Indian oral traditions) in a fast-paced and fun fulldome show that explores lunar phases, eclipses and other puzzles. Engaging and immersive, Earth, Moon & Sun also examines how humans learn through space exploration.

 

Suitable for:
All Ages

Little Star that Could

The Little Star That Could is a story about Little Star, an average yellow star in search for planets of his own to protect and warm. Along the way, he meets other stars, learns what makes each star special, and discovers that stars combine to form star clusters and galaxies. Eventually, Little Star finds his planets. Each planet is introduced with basic information about our solar system.

The Little Star That Could was originally created by the Saint Louis Science Center and reproduced by Audio Visual Imagineering and Brevard Community College.

Suitable for:
All Ages

Life: A Cosmic Story

How did life on Earth begin? Take a high-speed tour of key events since the Big Bang that set the stage for life. Starting with the first stars and ending with the tremendous biological diversity on Earth today, Life: A Cosmic Story shows how the human pedigree is actually 13.7 billion years in the making. Narrated by Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster.

Suitable for:
All Ages

Enchanted Skies

Come to this program with any questions you may have about astronomy.  During this live, interactive show, audience members are asked what they are interested in learning about the sky and that influences what is discussed.  The presenters will do their best to not only answer your questions but illustrate with available visuals on the dome.

Suitable for:
All Ages

Phantom of the Universe

Phantom of the Universe reveals the first hints of dark matter's existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term "dark matter." It describes the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummets deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine.

From there, the show journeys across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosions of light and sound, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter. Narrated by Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton.

Download the educator's guide by clicking here.

Suitable for:
All Ages

Earth, Moon, and Sun

This show explores the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions who has many misconceptions about our home planet and its most familiar neighbors.

His confusion about the universe makes viewers think about how the Earth, Moon and Sun work together as a system. Native American stories are used throughout the show to help distinguish between myths and science.

Suitable for:
Elementary School and Up

Two Small Pieces of Glass

The telescope has revolutionized our understanding of the universe and our place in it.  Learn about how they work and the amazing discoveries that still come from our observatories.

Suitable for:
Middle School and Up
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