Explore the thrills of the cosmos and the beauty of the night sky at the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium! Navigate the solar system and beyond by identifying some spectacular constellations and astronomical objects such as planets and moons. You will hear stories of how the constellations came to be and learn about some fascinating astronomy-related careers! Astronomer Jean Creighton is keen to answer your questions and share her excitement about space.
The planetarium program is 55-60 minutes long and costs $150 for groups under 20 children. If there are between 20-40 kids, the cost is $175. The program consists of:
- Live presentation that includes a tour of the current night time sky in the city and in the country (15-20 min) and one of the topics of your choice from this selection.
- Want to extend your visit? Add on one of our out-of-this-world activities! The activities start at $40 depending on the activity and the size of the group.
How do you sign up?
You go to this form and provide:
- Contact information and approximate number of guests.
- Dates and times you’re interested in (please choose a date at least 2 weeks from today’s date).
- Your choice of show.
- Choice of optional activities.
After you submit your request, you will receive an email usually within 1-2 business days confirming the available time and date with an invoice.
Wonders of Day and Night – Ages 5 through 7
Take your students on a trip and explore our star and planets. Students will observe the motions of day and night and participate in identifying objects such as clouds, the moon, and the sun. Prepare to stay up all night and look for star patterns in the sky.
Expedition Solar System – Ages 8 through 10
Travel from our star, the Sun, to the icy worlds of the kuiper belt and learn the latest discoveries from Juno to New Horizons. Explore our solar system and marvel at the Sun’s powerful solar flares, Jupiter’s swirling storms, and the intriguing moons of Saturn.
Life of a Star – Ages 10 through 18
Explore the role of gravity in the life cycles of different star types and their fates including that of our own Sun. Be blown away by the dramatic changes stars endure; from stellar nurseries to exotic compact objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes.
Astronomical Wonders – Ages 10 through 18
Explore the universe near and far and experience the scale of the cosmos. Tour the most thrilling highlights of our own solar system, such as solar storms and the rings of Saturn. Reach out to stars and exoplanets in our galaxy. Visualize the Milky Way on a collision course with our neighbor Andromeda and be dazzled by other beautiful galaxies. This presentation is well suited for extra long stargazing sessions.
Illuminating our Universe – Ages 15 through 18
Discover the clues that scientists use to understand the beginning of the cosmos. This presentation emphasizes the observational evidence for the Big Bang using the movement of distant galaxies and the leftover radiation from the early universe. Students see the microwave background radiation, which contains the seeds of all the structure in the universe that we see today.
Earth’s Amazing Moon
Students use playdough to make an Earth and Moon system. Depending on their grade, students use different math and problem skills. This activity is suitable for up to 22 kids per group.
Solar System to Scale
Students are divided into groups to make a scale model of the solar system along the length of an indoor hallway. The students are given instructions on how many tiles they need between various planets. This activity is suitable for up to 22 kids per group.
Students learn to use star charts to more easily identify 6-10 constellations in the sky. This activity is suitable for up to 68 kids.