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Galaxy Club

Schedule a show for your group!

With seating for 128, the Staerkel Planetarium has nearly two dozen different one-hour programs that can be scheduled for private viewing for school field trips, Scout troops, day care groups, park recreation, civic groups and others. Many of our programs have a live narrator, or are interactive. These programs can be tailored to fit a wide range of student ages, interests, and curricula. Note that our programs are now linked with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). See the teacher's guides after the show descriptions for more information.

One show-$3 per person
Two shows-$4.50 per person (Stay for two shows and get a second for half price!)
Note: For groups arriving with less than 15 people, there is a minimum fee of $45 for one show and $67.50 for two shows.

A note about show format . . . . "live-narrated" is a show presented live by a presenter. This type of show allows for interaction with the audience but may be missing a soundtrack. This type of show may possibly be altered to allow for discussion of topics a class may be covering at the time. "Digital remaster" refers to one of our older programs that we felt was good enough to adapt to our digital format. There are more still images in these programs in addition to the soundtrack and video. A "fulldome presentation" is a purely digital program with its own soundtrack. These are our newer programs. Each show, no matter the format, covers the entire dome. Also note that fulldome shows are usually a bit shorter than normal and we like to fill-in the time with a short live talk on the current constellations and planets. If you have questions, please call our office.

Browse through our show listing and click the Reservation link on the left to get started on scheduling your show. We do some outreach to schools, though availability is limted. Consider our popular "Traveling Space Suit Show."

One world one SkySun, Moon, and Stars
Grade Pre-K to 2
Live-narrated
The youngest stargazers are introduced to the spinning Earth and the night sky, plus pay a visit to the Moon. "Sun, Moon, and Stars" was designed for first grade teachers in the Unit 4 district who use the unit of the same name. The program content can be altered to support your classroom instruction.
* Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyOne World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure
Grade Pre-K to 2
Fulldome presentation
Explore the night sky with our friends from Sesame Street™. Join Big Bird, Elmo, and Hu Hu Zhu as they take a trip to the Moon. See how the Moon is different from the Earth and learn how to find the Big Dipper and North Star from your backyard. This interactive show was coproduced by the Adler Planetarium, Sesame Workshop, the Beijing Planetarium, and Liberty Science Center and comes to us through a grant from the PNC Foundation.
* Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyShapes in the Sky
Grade pre-K to 2
Live-narrated
Our popular "Prairie Skies" show, featuring the current constellations, is now in a form for very young stargazers. First, we'll play a game, finding shapes in an image, then expand to find shapes among the stars in the night sky. The show finishes off with a new fulldome feature called "Space Shapes" where we look at the shape of the Sun, Moon and planets. "Is it round like a ball or round like a pancake?"
* Teacher's Show Guide

One world one Sky
In My Backyard

Grade Pre-K to 2
Digital remaster
Let's explore the night sky from our own backyards! Through the use of storytelling, poetry, and songs, children are encouraged to participate in the show while learning about the seasons, Ursa Major, planets, meteors, and the Moon. Narrated by Fred Penner.
* Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkySanta's Secret Star
Grade Pre-K to 2
Digital Remaster
How will Santa find his way home? You, too, can find Santa's secret star in the sky in this holiday show about the winter sky. Learn about the North Star and how the sky changes as we travel northward.
• Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyAmazing Stargazing!
Grades 1-4
Digital remaster
Learn all the sky watching basics with the fun radio DJs from “Radio Aahs.” Meet Aahsie and the gang as they happily explain the causes for day & night, moon phases, and the difference between comets and meteors. A great introduction to the night sky!
• Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyPrairie Skies
Grade 1 and up
Live-narrated
Locate planets and constellations in our current night sky while hearing legendary stories of the heavens. What star groups and planets will we see tonight?
* Teacher's Show Guide

Coyote Coyote Explores the "Earth, Moon and Sun"
Grades 2-6
Fulldome presentation
New! Explore the relationships between the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions who has many misconceptions about our neighbors in space. His confusion makes us think about how the Earth, Moon and Sun work as a system as we distinguish between myth and science. Examine how the Sun rises and sets and how the Sun shines, then learn about craters on the Moon, phases and eclipses. Lastly, we look at past exploration of the Moon. Originally produced by the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in North Carolina. [Note: This is a different show from "Sun, Moon, and Stars" which is a live show for K-1.]
* UNC Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyReasons for the Seasons
Grade 3 and up
Live-narrated
Examine why we have seasons by watching the apparent motion of the Sun throughout the year and how its changing altitude affects our climate. If time permits, we then travel to the North Pole and the equator to see how the climate is affected by the Sun.
* Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyOdyssey
Grades 3 and up
Digital remaster
New! The quest to comprehend the universe is an ancient one, beginning when our first ancestors looked up. "Odyssey" takes us on a personal voyage of discovery through the cosmos, from the legends and monuments of early sky watchers to an imaginary flight through the Solar System and our home galaxy, and into the very depths of space and time.
• Teacher's Show Guide

Flight AdventuresFlight Adventures
Grades 3 and up
Fulldome presentation
New for 2013!    Discover the science of flight through the eyes of a young girl and her grandfather as they explore how birds, kites, planes, and models fly. Learn about the history and future of flight and how NASA is discovering new and safer ways to travel with the help of future engineers and aviators—like you!  Join us in this collaboration with the Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul!
• Teacher's Show Guide

star trails Our Place in Space
Grades 4 and up
Live-narrated
Written for the Champaign schools curriculum with the same name, this program covers the current sky as seen from your backyard (including star colors and apparent brightness) before moving on to the phases of the Moon, the importance of the North Star, and the apparent motions of the Earth.   How do we really know the Earth is round? 
* Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyDawn of the Space Age
Grade 4 and up
Fulldome presentation
From the launch of the satellite Sputnik, to space flights and lunar landings, humans have wanted to travel to the stars. Witness the drive, passion, and perseverance of the men and women that took part in the death defying endeavour to explore space travel. You will be immersed and overwhelmed with this historic reconstruction of our first steps into space.
• Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkySolar System Safari
Grades 2-5
Digital remaster
A jungle adventurer uses a magical camera to take visitors on an exciting safari through the Solar System. The Sun, Moon, planets, and dwarf planets come to life, taking on unique personalities and describing their own characteristics and eccentricities. Learn about the planets and the current status of Pluto. A great solar system show!
* Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyMessages of Starlight
Grade 5 and up
Live-narrated
How can we discover the temperatures and compositions of the stars given their great distances? Students will analyze the spectra of several light sources in and hands-on activity, then try to unlock the secrets of starlight. The program also include the fulldome feature "Expanded View."
* Teacher's Show Guide

moon Sky Cycles (New!)
Grade 5 and up
Live-narrated
From our backyards we notice cycles in the sky.After looking at the current night sky and noticing a few constellations and planets, the show examines the phases of the Moon through a model on the dome.We then venture to a morning sky and predict where the Sun will rise, then investigate the path of the Sun during our four seasons.If time permits, we’ll zoom away from the Earth to see the planets orbiting the Sun in our solar system, noting the flatness of the planetary system and how planets closer to the Sun orbit faster.This live show matches the Champaign Schools 8th grade curriculum in Space Science, though any group can reserve the show. • Teacher's Show Guide



One world one SkyIBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System
Grade 5 and up
Fulldome presentation
IBEX follows the creation of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer satellite and its search for the boundary of our solar system. Narrated by two inquisitive teenagers, the show focuses on the mission and the significance of this boundary. Along the way, we are treated to an amazing visual tour of the our planetary system. Produced by the Adler Planetarium.
• Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyLight Years From Home
Grade 4 and up
Live-narrated
We live in a big universe! But it is sometimes difficult to realize just how large it is. Enjoy the a star-filled sky as seen from our backyards. Orbit the earth, visits the solar system, stars, Milky Way, the Local Group of galaxies, and the many galaxy clusters that fill the universe. It's quite the trip!
• Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyCosmic Colors
Grade 5 and up
Fulldome presentation
Take a journey across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Discover the many reasons for color— “why the sky is blue” and “why Mars is red.” Journey inside a plant leaf and the human eye. Investigate x-rays and see the actual color of a dinosaur. Get ready for an amazing adventure under a rainbow of cosmic light!
• GLPA Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyViolent Universe
Grade 5 and up
Fulldome presentation
Comets, asteroids and meteoroids hurtling through space; stars collapsing under their own gravity; infernos of nuclear energy releasing their deadly radiation across the universe! Witness the raw power of the cosmos in this thrilling new show that gives you a front-row seat to watch as worlds collide. This is the inaugural show for our full dome projection system!
• Teacher's Show Guide

One world one Sky
Secrets of the Sun

Grade 4 and up
Fulldome presentation
Take an intimate look at the role the sun plays in our solar system. From the nuclear forces at the heart of the sun to the mass ejections of solar material in surrounding space, you will experience the power of the sun and its impact on the planets and life on Earth. Secrets of the Sun traces the life cycle of the sun itself, from beginning to its eventual death.
• Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyWonders of the Universe
Grade 5 and up
Fulldome presentation
Peer deep into space (and back into time) through the eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope. Witness the birth of the Universe (the Big Bang), see the formation of galaxies, exploding supernovae and explore beautiful nebulae. Then return home, visiting neighboring planets in our Solar System.
• Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkyThe Planets
Grade 5 and up
Digital remaster
Take a breathtaking tour of our own planetary system, including some of the latest discoveries. See how our solar system may have formed and visit planets in other star systems. The show originally written and distributed by the Southeastern Planetarium Association and is narrated by Kate Mulgrew of “Star Trek: Voyager” fame.
• Teacher's Show Guide

Africa Skywatchers of Africa
Grade 5 and up
Digital Remaster
Originally produced by the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, “Skywatchers of Africa” is a celebration of many diverse African cultures and their observations and explanations of the yearly cycles of the heavens.  Africa has many vibrant cultures thriving today, as well as countless past civilizations that continue to speak to us through their sky lore across time. 
* Teacher's Show Guide

One world one SkySeason of Light
All ages
Digital remaster
"Season of Light" traces the history and development of many of the world's December holiday customs, all of which involve lighting up the winter season "Seasons of Light" also recounts the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice - not only Christian and Jewish, but also Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican and Hopi. It also takes a look at some of our more light-hearted seasonal traditions.