FAQ about the planetarium
WhAt is it exactly?
It is an inflatable dome that students/teachers can enter and can display different learning materials on the inside of the dome.
What does it look like?
How much room does it take?
It will require a 30' x 30' floor space and a 15' ceiling clearance. For most elementary schools, the gym is the only place that will house it.
How many can fit inside at a time?
It can comfortably seat 25 adults. If possible, limit to 35 students and 3 adults at a time.
How long can we check it out?
You can check it out for a week at a time. I will bring it out on a Friday and pick it up from you the following Friday.
Who runs the planetarium while it is at my school?
Since it is housed in the gym, most schools have a PE teacher involved in the presentations along with one other teacher from the building. Who runs the planetarium is completely at the discretion of the school leaders. If you would like some suggestions, please contact Jenn Lowery.
So does that teacher need to stay with the planetarium all day?
One teacher that is trained will need to stay with it while students are using it. The other teacher involved can rotate and can even be the homeroom teacher of the students using it. It is recommended that the classroom teacher experience the planetarium with their students to continue the conversation and learning once they are back in class.
Can we put it up and take it down multiple times a day?
You can deflate it when it's not in use, but leaving it in place on the floor will be necessary until you are ready to pack it up for pick up. Moving it repeatedly causes a lot of wear and tear.
Do all students use it?
That is entirely up to the school. Some schools use it with grades 3 - 6 to give each class a longer period of time to use it. Some schools make it part of the specials rotation so that all students experience it.
We have children with limited mobility issues. Can they use it?
Absolutely! Typically you enter from narrow door, but there is a way to enter on the side if needed.
What do they see when they are in it?
There are several options to show to students:
- Biological cell (5th +)
- Ocean Currents (4th +)
- Plate Tectonics (4th +)
- Earth (all grades)
- Civil War Sky (8th - 12th grade)
- Lewis and Clark Sky (Great for 4th +)
- Solar system and galaxy (all grades)
- Constellations (all grades)
- Starfield (all grades)
How long does it take for each class?
That completely depends on your schedule. If you choose to do it during specials - 2 of the topics could be shown. If you plan for a longer time period per class, you can possibly do three; however, consider the following: Is this a follow-up to a. previous lesson taught in the classroom; Is this an intro to a lesson? Is the part of the meat of the lesson? How you plan your time may need to be adjusted accordingly.
Do we have to keep it a whole week?
No. If you want me to pick it up earlier, I will be more than happy to do that.
What kind of training does it require?
It takes about an hour to learn how to put it up and take it down. Training will be offered once a quarter, and you will need to attend the training the quarter PRIOR to your reservation. At least two teachers need to be trained. A few weeks prior to your reservation, I can schedule some time with your teachers to go over available teaching tools and curriculum available. We typically schedule that during a plan time, before school, or after school - whatever best meets the needs of your staff.
Anything new I should know about since the 22-23 school year?
We are currently working on a grade-level specific curriculum as well as a traveling library to accompany the planetarium.
How do I reserve this for my school?
Complete the form. Please get permission from your school leader and before submitting this form.