Space Dome Planetarium Educator Programs

Did You Know?

Lobsters have blue blood.

Welcome to the Dayna and Ronald L. Sawyer Space Dome Planetarium, a unique planetarium experience that will send you and your students into orbit! This digital planetarium utilizes a 16-million pixel laser projection system which is driven by the revolutionary planetarium software, Digistar3.

When choosing a planetarium program, you may choose either a Movie or Live Interactive Presentation for the Planetarium – but not both otherwise your selection may be disregarded.

Movies and Live Interactive Presentations are two types of programs in the planetarium. Both Movies and Live Interactive Presentations cover a variety of subject matter within Earth and Space Science, Astronomy, and Physics. The difference between them is the delivery method for the information. A Movie features pre-recorded narration and pre-recorded scenery. A Live Interactive Presentation features live narration with flexible scenery.

Upon visiting the Space Dome…

  • We ask that you quietly arrive with your students in a single-file line outside the Space Dome’s main entrance on the 1st floor of the Space Center. If possible, arrive at least 10 minutes before your scheduled start time and wait for the Space Dome staff to assist you with seating.
  • Please be courteous and minimize any distractions.
  • We ask that everyone refrain from using devices that emit light and/or sound during the course of the program.
  • Questions related to the topic are strongly encouraged but may not be answered due to time constraints. You are welcome to contact the Space Dome staff via email or Facebook as a follow-up.
  • Please check with the Space Dome staff if you or anyone within your group wishes to record anything within the Space Dome.

Live Interactive Planetarium Programs

Grade(s)ContentProgram NameDurationProgram Description
Pk - 2ndPlanetary ScienceBuzzy’s Blast Off30 minutesBuzzy’s Blast Off takes students on an interactive journey from Earth into Space with Buzzy the Bee acting as the tour guide. Students countdown for a blast-off to the Moon, take a tour of the solar system and wish upon a falling star! The trip is punctuated by audience participation for phases of the Moon and solar system model.
Pk - 3rdPlanetary ScienceCelestial Bodies30 minutesCompare and contrast planets, moons and stars.
4th - 5th,
8th - 12th
Space Exploration & TechnologyEye on the Sky30 minutesExperience an interactive program featuring magnificent Hubble Telescope images and a discussion of current theories of the origin of the Universe as we know it.
5th - 8thConstellationsStarry Night30 minutesAn interactive, grade level-appropriate tour of the current season's night sky. Students learn about the constellations, the night's brightest stars and the latest relevant space news.
8thCosmologyHow the Universe Works30 minutesMovement in the universe is dominated by the force of gravity. Yet, celestial mechanics on the universal scale expose a mysterious source that continues to baffle scientists. Learn the science of this mysterious source and other strange, unexplained occurrences in our universe.

Planetarium Movies

Pk- KSun, Stars & MoonOne World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure30 minutesSee how people all over the world are connected. With the help of Big Bird, Elmo and a new friend from China named Hu Hu Zhu, children will discover that everyone everywhere shares the same sky.
Made possible at Sci-Port by the Colleen J. Papai Memorial Fund
4th - 5th, 8thPlanetary ScienceEarth-Moon-Sun30 minutesTake a look at the Earth, Moon and Sun system and how it has influenced life on Earth. Learn about the phases of the Moon, seasons and eclipses.
Courtesy of Northern Kentucky University
4th - 5th,
8th - 12th
Nuclear EnergySecrets of the Sun30 minutesLearn the stellar forces at work within our star and the probes we have sent to discover its secrets.
5th - 12thMoon Exploration Back to the Moon For Good30 minutes In order to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE ($30 million dollars), a team must land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon, navigate 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send video, images and data back to Earth. This global competition is designed to spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration, not by governments or countries – but by the citizens of the world. The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon. 
A production of XPRIZE and created by NSC Creative
5th - 12thTelescopes & Historical Astronomy  Two Small Pieces of Glass30 minutes Learn how telescopes work while exploring the night sky with an astronomer. The discoveries of popular astronomers will be explored as well as different bodies of the Solar System and Universe.