Arkansas SkyDome Portable Planetarium and Science Museum 

School Programs

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 – All Ages
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: 1-2 Hours (We can adjust the program to fit your time allotments, bell schedule, ect)
Students exploring science exhibits.

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.

SkyDome Project

Students preparing to look through a telescope. Inset: An image of Saturn taken through the same telescope students use!


Program Rates

  • School Day Program:         $250   End of School Year Special: $150 (April – June 1st)
  • Astronomy Night Program: $100
  • Day & Night Combined:      $300 (Save $50!)
  • Travel Fee: No Fee for the first 50 miles from Greenbrier, AR. – $0.50 / mile for each mile beyond 50.

Estimate fee by calculating distance from your school to Greenbrier and subtract 50.  For example Greenbrier to Ft. Smith is 135 miles.  135-50 = 85.  Estimate: $85  ($.50 / mile there + $.50 / mile back = $1 round trip / mile)

General School Info.

  • Maximum 4 – 5 programs per day (2 morning / 2 afternoon – 30 minute lunch break for host)
  • Maximum capacity of 27 students Grades 3-4 / 25 students Grades 4-7 / 22 students Grades 8-12 per program.
  • Teacher / School official must be present during student’s visit.
  • For schools greater than 50 miles travel fee is a one time fee and can be shared by schools if booked consecutive days in same area.
  • School assumes responsibility for damage to equipment / exhibits caused by students beyond normal wear and tear.
  • Unless other arrangements are made, program fee due on the date of the programs.

 

For Site

  • Indoor room (Gym, Cafeteria, etc.) Minimum floor space: 30 feet by 30 feet
  • Minimum ceiling height: 12 feet with no obstructions (light fixtures, etc.)
  • Easy access to outdoors for telescope use.
  • 2 grounded 120-volt standard electrical outlets.
  • Clean, swept floor.
  • Easy access to parking for bringing and removing equipment.
  • 45 minutes to setup and breakdown equipment.
  • For multi-day visits, the mobile planetarium must remain in the locked facility.

 

Schedule A Program
For more information or to schedule a program contact Stephen, program host, at: observatory@arkansassky.com or 501.314.9250

Please schedule at least two weeks in advance.  We can also help you pick a date based upon upcoming events or moon phase.