School Group

We welcome your class to the planetarium. Our shows are live, interactive, and adjustable to meet your curriculum needs. For more information, select your grade band below.

Reservations

Submit a Request Form with your preferred dates and times and we will contact you to confirm your reservation. We will email you an invoice once we have confirmed your reservation

Page Navigation:
Fees | Reservations | Show Structure | Show Options | Optional Activities | Lunch | Resource Materials | Common Questions


Fees

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Our shows are priced based on the number of students in your group. Below is a price breakdown.

  • Less than 20 students: $40
  • 20 or more students: $60*
  • 68 is the maximum group size.

Hands-On Activities: $40 – 80 (based on age, number of students, and activity).


Reservations

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If you know your preferred dates and times please fill out a Request Form. Once you’ve submitted the form, Jean will get in contact with you to confirm a particular date(s) and time(s).

After we have agreed upon a date and time, we will email you an invoice. Kindly arrange for the check and invoice to be mailed 10 days before your scheduled program. Please make the check out to UWM Planetarium and mail to the address below.

“The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee” to:
UWM Physics/Planetarium
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201


Show Structure

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The planetarium show is 55-60 minutes long and consists of:

*Additional presentation options are available (starting at $40 depending activity and the size of the group )

The program can be shortened for young audiences or altered to meet special needs.


Show Options

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The planetarium offers custom shows that are geared towards different school groups.

Wonders of Day and Night | Grades K – 2
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. (20-25 mins)

Expedition Solar System | Grades 3 – 5
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. (20-25 mins)

Life of a Star | Grades 5 – 12
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. (20-25 mins)

Astronomical Wonders | Grades 5 – 12
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. (15 mins)

Illuminating our Universe | Grades 9 – 12
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. (20-25 mins)


Optional Hands-On Activities

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We offer optional hands-on activities that last 15-20 minutes depending on the activity and age group. If you have a large group (over 22 students), you can choose between the star chart activity for the whole class ($40) or you can have half the group do the activity while the other half has a break and then switch off ($40/session).

Earth’s Amazing Moon | Grades K – 2
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 students per group. (20 mins and $40)

Solar System to Scale | Grades 2 – 8
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 students per group. (20 mins and $40)

Star Charts | Grades 3 – 12
Students learn to use star charts to more easily identify 6-10 constellations in the sky. This activity is suitable for up to 68 students. (15 mins and $40)

Teacher Feedback on Star Charts

“The students really enjoyed being able to identify the constellations—something I’m unsure they experience living in the city.” –Rae Anne Frey, G4, Milwaukee Academy of Science

“Very informative. Something they can take back to school and utilize in the classroom with lessons.” –Harrer, G3, Atlas Prep Academy


Lunch

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Students may eat their own lunches in the cafeteria on the ground level of the UWM Union building, a short walk east of the Planetarium. In warm weather, students are welcome to eat lunch outdoors.

Resource Materials

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Materials for classes have been separated into four grade ranges. Each grade range includes:

  • Color-coded Learning Activities: you can find listed themes activities (blue), online books (green), videos (gold), websites (red).
  • Discussion Questions to guide your class with answers.
  • Readings
  • Vocabulary

Check out our other resources on our Teachers Resources Page.


Common Questions

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How long is the program?
Our programs run around 60 min. This includes stargazing and questions.

How should our class prepare for a planetarium visit?
We recommend introducing grade-appropriate astronomy topics before coming to the planetarium. This can include basic constellations for younger students to atomic structures and star properties for older students. Any exposure will help your students engage more at the planetarium.

Can students bring a lunch?
Students may eat their own lunches in the cafeteria on the ground level of the UWM Union building, a short walk east of the Planetarium. In warm weather, students are welcome to eat lunch outdoors.

How do I get to UWM and where do I find parking?
We are located in the Physics Building on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Campus. UWM Physics Building 139
1900 East Kenwood Blvd
Milwaukee WI 53211
Please see the Directions and Parking webpage for maps and further instructions.

How far in advance should I pay for a school group?
We ask that the payment arrives at least two weeks before your program.