School Shows

Fall 2017 - Spring 2018

Calendar & School Shows

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I. Survey of Astronomy (K - 3rd)

This is our basic introduction to astronomy program tailored specifically for the younger student, suitable for grade levels K through 3. Topics covered at a very introductory level include: the telescope, the Moon and its phases, seasonal stars and constellations, a tour of the Solar System, and the fundamental nature of stars, meteors, comets, and galaxies. Although the show's visual effects and its story "Sol and Her Family" makes it more appropriate for very young students, we do encourage teachers to plan for and consider that very young children (especially Kindergarteners) may become frightened in the darkened environment of the planetarium.

I-A. Survey of Astronomy (4th - 12th)

This is our basic introduction to astronomy program tailored specifically for the older student, suitable for grade levels 4 through 12. Topics covered include: the telescope, the Moon and its phases, seasonal stars and constellations, a tour of the Solar System, and the fundamental nature of stars, meteors, comets, and galaxies. These subjects are covered with an appropriately higher level of detail and understanding than the K through 3 grade version.

II. Stories of the Stars (1 - 3rd)

There are two types of stories we tell of the stars, old and new. The old stories cover the mythology of the sky as told by the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, and other early cultures. They grouped the stars into a variety of patterns called constellations, naming them after heroes, monsters and other characters from their myths and legends. In this show we emphasize the constellations and old stories of the stars with less scientific concepts making it more suitable for grades 1 through 3. Today's astronomers tell the new stories of the stars as they discover the true nature of these most distant objects. We cover very basic concepts of the evolution of Sun-like stars including star forming regions, their stellar life cycle (including planetary nebula and white dwarf stars) and basics of the Milky Way and galaxies.

II-A. Stories of the Stars (4th - 12th)

There are two types of stories we tell of the stars, old and new. The old stories cover the mythology of the sky as told by the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, and other early cultures. They grouped the stars into a variety of patterns called constellations, naming them after heroes, monsters and other characters from their myths and legends. The new stories of the stars are still being put together by astronomers as they discover the true nature of these most distant objects. In this show more emphasis is given to basic science of stellar evolution for Sun-like stars; including star forming regions, their stellar life cycle (including planetary nebula and white dwarf stars) and basics of the Milky Way and galaxies. With less mythology and more basic science this show is more appropriate for grades 4 through 12 than the grades 1 through 3 version.

III. Observing the Sky (3rd - 12th)

In this presentation students receive a basic introduction to the sky, including a discussion of both daytime and nighttime observations. Topics to be covered include: rainbows, halos, phases of the Moon, solar & lunar eclipses, seasonal constellations, comets, meteor activity, auroras, and the motions of the Earth, Moon, and planets.

IV-A. Exploring the Solar System - Part 1 (3rd - 12th)

The Solar System consists of the Sun and all the objects that revolve around it. Among these objects are nine major planets. In this presentation we explore the formation of the solar system and learn about the basic motions of the sky and planets. We cover specific information about the Moon and the first four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars). We'll briefly cover the outer five planets and learn about asteroids.

IV-B. Exploring the Solar System - Part 2 (3rd - 12th)

In this presentation we explore the physical characteristics of the five outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. We'll learn about their many strange and fascinating moons. We'll land on Pluto, Triton, Miranda, Titan (to see the rings of Saturn), and Io at Jupiter. Exploring the Solar System - Part 1 & Part 2 gives the student a valuable introduction to the solar system, and a better understanding of our place in the universe.

V. Exploring Planet Earth (Recommended 8th - 12th)

This show is designed to give students a basic introduction to Earth's geology using the presentation technology of the planetarium. Basic subjects covered include: Earth's formation and structure including the core, mantle, and crust; basic rocks including igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary; plate tectonics and boundaries including seafloor spreading and subduction zones; earthquakes including wave motion, detection, and tsunami; volcanoes including basic types of magma/lava, the Cascades, and hot spots such as the Hawaiian volcanic chain.

VI. The Current Public Planetarium Show (5th - 12th)

In many cases teachers may want to schedule the current public planetarium show. Topics change about once every 6 weeks, and while such shows are usually not appropriate for grades K-4, they may work just fine with higher grades. Experienced planetarium lecturers are skilled at making these subjects understandable to appropriate grade level students. For current title and topic, or to speak with the planetarium staff as to the appropriateness of the current public show for your grade level, call SRJC's Planetarium at 707-521-6914.