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:
Science Museum Exhibits Students begin by exploring our mobile science museum. For younger students we use a “show & tell” format, older students are free to explore the exhibits.
SkyDome Portable Planetarium
Stories in the Stars: Grade 2-4 For students grades 2-4 their visit to the SkyDome focuses on the “Stories in the Stars”. Students learn how ancient cultures created pictures and stories in the sky that we call constellations. They’ll hear some of the fun stories told by our ancestors and what they tell us about the sky.
Current Night Sky: Grade 5-6 Students learn what is happening in the night sky, including how to find and observe the planets. They will also learn how to identify and locate the brightest constellations and stars, including the north star.
The Life of Stars: Grade 7 -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.
Telescope Viewing: Grade 5-12 Students will learn about telescopes and safe solar viewing. Then weather permitting telescopes will be setup outside for students to view the Sun through our specialized safe solar telescope. We’ll have regular telescopes for viewing the Moon or planets if they are visible in the daytime sky.
Group Size: Classroom.
Length: 30-60 minutes.
Students exploring science exhibits.
Students using safe solar telescopes to view a rare passage of Mercury in front of the Sun.
Astronomy Night Program:
Students, parents and siblings are invited to share an evening under the stars.
The program begins inside with an interactive presentation on what’s visible in the night sky, current events, and telescope use. We bring our traveling exhibits and NASA memorabilia for the students and their families to explore. Then, weather permitting, telescopes are setup outside to view the Moon, planets and other celestial wonders. Have students bring astronomical themed treats to share (i.e. star clusters, moon pies, milk, ect.) and you’ve got the making of a memorable night under the stars for your students and their families.
Group Size: 1 – 3 Classrooms.
Time: 7-9 pm (times can vary based on sunset)
Age: 3rd Grade or higher
Note: To give everyone ample time to enjoy the telescopes we recommend a maximum of 3 classrooms (~ 100 people max.) per evening.
Ask how you can include the SkyDome for community night sky programs prior to the Astronomy Night Program and how you can use Astronomy Night as a fundraising program.
Students preparing to look through a telescope. Inset: An image of Saturn taken through the same telescope students use!