Solar System Spectacular

Explore the solar system to learn about the sun, planets, asteroids and moons that make up Earth's neighborhood.

Major Concepts To Be Explored:

  • What are the components of Earth’s neighborhood, the solar system?
  • How can star patterns and constellations be located and identified?

Essential Standards:

3.E.1.1; 3.E.1.2; 6.E.1.2; 6.E.1.3

Goals of the Program:

  • To introduce students to the Solar System and Earth’s place in it.
  • To introduce students to some of the human exploration of the solar system and beyond.
  • To introduce apparent motion as it relates to the sun, earth-moon system, and the changing patterns of the night sky.
  • To introduce students to constellations and the mythology behind constellations.

Class Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Explore the celestial objects in our solar system, including the sun, planets, dwarf planets, and asteroids
  • Identify the planets and their characteristics
  • Determine direction (North, South, East, and West) using star positions
  • Identify at least three constellations and locate them in the nighttime sky

Methods and Activities:

  • A brief introduction will familiarize students with the Starlab, including the concepts to be explored and behavioral expectations inside the dome.
  • A Discovery Place Outreach educator will lead students through a presentation on the solar system as well as a tour of the night sky.
  • Students will examine the night sky in various forms and experience the seasonal changes in the night sky.
  • Students will discover how the constellations are arranged, the major stars involved in common constellations, and how those stars can point to other stars or constellations.

Key Vocabulary:

Solar System, Planets, Dwarf Planets, Constellations, Orbit, Light Pollution, Planetarium

Set-up Needs:

  • Approximate set-up and clean-up times 60 minutes before and after program
  • Teaching/presentation space must be accessible via wheeled cart.
  • Program will need to remain set up in one location and secured from students for the entire day if multiple programs are booked.
  • Access to electricity.
  • For safety reasons teachers must accompany students into the StarLab - it is not the StarLab presenter's duty to manage student behavior. If students are not properly supervised or behave in a dangerous manner inside the dome, students will be asked to leave and the presentation will come to an end.
  • Indoor area (usually a gym or multi-purpose room) with minimum clean floor area and ceiling height.

Set-up Needs for Class Sizes Up to 30 Students:

  • Minimum clear floor area of: 11’ in height and 21 ‘x 21’ in width.

Set-up Needs for Class Sizes Up to 50 Students:

  • Minimum clear floor area of: 16’ in height and 27 ‘x 27’ in width.

Call to Book

704.372.6261 x300
  • Grades 3 - 8
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • $150 first class / $125 each additional class (same class, same day) large dome is an additional $25 per program
  • 30 (small dome) or 50 (large dome)