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Galaxy Club


Parkland Staerkel Planetarium photo
We offer various educational programs for school field trips, Scout troops, day care groups, park recreation, civic groups, and others.

Our World of Science lectures provides a monthly forum in which a local scientist discusses his or her specialties.

Enjoy weekend public Planetarium shows for residents of all ages. Explore this website for descriptions of our current shows. Contact us at See our calendar for what's playing.



We are pleased to report that the planetarium front doors are OPEN as well as the circle drive in front. Due to the new Fine & Applied Arts wing, patrons are still encouraged to park in the M-1 lot, north of the planetarium, but you may enter through our front doors. School buses may park in the planetarium circle drive to let off students. Thanks for your patience during the construction!


Prairie SkiesTraditional "Live" planetarium at its best! "Prairie Skies" Friday nights at 7pm

Take a live tour of the current night sky (and not have to swat mosquitoes)! Learn how to find the current constellations and planets, plus hear a few of the legendary stories featuring the imaginary figures above us!









New!  Imagine a scene 74,000 years ago, on the island of Sumatra. A volcanic eruption triggered the sudden and violent collapse of a vast plateau. Toba, as the volcano is known today, was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years. But Earth has seen far larger! 250 million years ago, an eruption in what's now Siberia lasted a million years and was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in Earth's history.  “Supervolcanoes” looks back at rare classes of eruptions that have marshaled the energy that churns beneath the surface of planet Earth.  Is a supervolcano lurking beneath Yellowstone Park? 





Zula Patrol

"THE ZULA PATROL: DOWN TO EARTH" starts January 17, 7pm

While on a routine fossil-hunting expedition, The Zula Patrol turns up evidence that the villainous Deliria Delight has been travelling back in time to Earth’s prehistoric past to illegally dump her company’s toxic trash. The Zula Patrollers must find and catch her, before her actions cause catastrophic consequences. In the process, our heroes learn all about the formation and development of Earth, and the life forms who call it home. Admission is $5 adults; $4 students, seniors, and children under 12, all at the door.







WOSGenetically-Modified Plants will be featured in our next talk, March 6, 7pm

It is difficult to login to social media and not hear something about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). But, from farm to fork, genetically modified plants have a major role in agricultural food production. Should we fear GM plants? This talk will highlight some of the common fears about GM plants and the facts to overcome those fears. Key topics in human health, environment, economics and plant nutrition will be presented. First year doctoral student Lynnicia Massenburg (UIUC Plant Sciences) will fill us in. Ms. Massenburg's research topic focuses on improving the photosynthetic efficiency of cassava, a key food crop in food insecure regions around the world, such as South America, Africa and Asia. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Biotechnology from Rutgers University.

The line-up of speakers for the 2014-2015 lecture series is set and now appears here! The talks are all on Friday nights at 7pm and admission is only $1 at the door! Put these on your calendar!


Staerkel exteriorTEACHERS! Come to our first annual Educator's Open House!

All teachers in the Parkland College district (and beyond) are invited to our first Educator's Open House on Thursday, February 26, 2015 from 4-7pm. The planetarium staff will be present to talk about how we can bestsupport your classroom instruction. We will show segments of shows for every grade level. You may show up and leave when you please, and it's free! Refreshments will be served in the lobby.



See the Goose Kaler Meteorite Collection now on display in our lobby

On loan from the Kaler family, the meteorite collection contains samples from Canyon Diablo, Esquel (Argentina), Gibeon (Namibia), and Sikhote-Alin (Siberia). The "monster" of the collection is a 16 kilogram iron meteorite that you can touch. A brochure containing background information on the samples can be picked up in our lobby or you can download one here.


black holes"Black Holes" to open on March 6, 8pm

There is a place from which nothing escapes, not even light, where time and space literally come to end. It's at this point that black holes exert their sway over the cosmos … and our imaginations. Narrated by Liam Neeson, this production features visualizations of cosmic phenomena, working with data generated by computer simulations, to bring the current science of black holes to the dome. Audiences will be dazzled with striking, immersive animations of the formation of the early universe, star birth and death, the collision of giant galaxies, and a simulated flight to a super-massive black hole lurking at the center of our own Galaxy. This fulldome show features visualizations created by the NCSA at the University of Illinois.






Girl Scout and Boy Scout badge workshops are coming up in April and May! Advance registration is required.