Arkansas SkyDome Portable Planetarium and Science Museum
One of the best ways to get students interested in S.T.E.M. is Space. Our school programs are tailored for each grade level with the goal of creating excitement in the possibilities that S.T.E.M. can create for them. We do this, in part, for example, by not only teaching students about the planets / constellations, but how they can observe and study them on their own. We show them how to find and observe in our portable planetarium and then, when possible, take them outside to view the real thing!
School Day Program:
Our programs are scheduled around a typical class period of 45-60 minutes per class. We can be flexible to your particular needs.
Introduction (5 minutes)
We begin with a brief introduction of the planetarium and an overview of the exhibits.
SkyDome Portable Planetarium (20-30 minutes)
- Stories in the Stars: Grade K-2
For our youngest visitors to the SkyDome the focus is on the “Stories in the Stars”. Students learn how ancient cultures played ‘connect-the-dots’ with the stars to create the pictures and stories we call constellations. We put up the picture outlines of the constellations in the sky for them to see and share some of the fun stories told by our ancestors and what they tell us about the sky.
- The Current Night Sky: Grade 3-7
We take students on a tour of the current night sky. They learn how to find the brightest constellations and their related mythology. They learn where the north star is and why it is important. We also show them how to spot the planets. We finish by encouraging students to go out that night to observe the real sky. Based on our feedback many of them do!
- The Life of Stars: Grade 8-12
Students will learn about the current night sky, including how to find the planets and a review of the brighter constellations. Students will then learn about the life cycle of stars and where they can find examples of each stage of a stars life in the sky.
All programs are taught by a live instructor.
Science Museum Exhibits (15-20 minutes)
Students explore our mobile science museum. For younger students we use a “show & tell” format, older students are free to explore the exhibits.
Telescope Viewing: Grade 3-12 (15-20 minutes)
Depending on sky conditions and what’s up in the sky, students will be able to look at the moon, a planet (they are sometimes visible in the telescope during the daytime!) and / or the sun. Solar viewing is reserved for students 4th grade and up. We have specialized filters for safe viewing the sun, but before we do, we teach students about the dangers of looking at the sun.
Format: One Class
Typically a single class of students will visit the planetarium, explore the exhibits and then head outside to the telescopes.
Format: Two Classes
To accommodate more students, two classes can visit at a time. After the introduction one class will go inside the planetarium, while the second explores the exhibits. After 20 minutes the two groups swap. After everyone’s been in the planetarium, we take small groups out to the telescope while the other students continue to explore the exhibits.
Math / Science Night Programs or Astronomy Night Program:
Students, parents and siblings are invited to share an evening under the stars.
Make your Math / Science night programs even more stellar by including the SkyDome Planetarium or setup a special Astronomy Night program.
For Math / Science night programs we do an abbreviated 10-15 minute long program to allow as many folks as possible to enjoy the planetarium. While folks are waiting for the next show they are free to enjoy the exhibits.
Contact us to see how we can make your event more memorable for your students and their families.