Grades K – 2

We welcome your class to the planetarium. Our shows are live, interactive, and can be adjusted to meet different needs.

To reserve a program, submit a Request Form at least 2 weeks in advance of your visit.

The planetarium program costs $75 for 60 minutes and up to 68 students. You experience a live presentation of Wonders of Night and Day and a tour of the night sky featuring the constellations and their stories. For an additional $50, extend your visit with activities.


Show Topic

Wonders of Night and Day | Grades K – 2
Blast off to the International Space Station where we investigate what causes night and day. Experience what night and day are like on other planets such as Mars, then return to Earth to search for constellations in the night sky.
WI Standards for Science SCI.ESS1.A.1


Activities

Optional activities last 20 minutes and cost $50 per activity for up to 22 students. If your group is 23-44 students, you may split them between two back-to-back activity sessions for a total of 40 minutes for $100.

Earth’s Amazing Moon | Grades K – 2
Students use Playdough to make an Earth and Moon system. Students use different math and problem-solving skills depending on their grade level.

Solar System to Scale | Grade 2
Students are divided into groups to make a scale model of the solar system along the length of an indoor hallway. Students receive instructions about how many tiles they need between various planets.


Preparing For Your Visit

We recommend introducing grade-appropriate astronomy topics before visiting the planetarium. This might range from basic constellations for younger students to atomic structures and the electromagnetic spectrum for older students. Any exposure will help your students engage more at the planetarium. See the Resource Materials section below.


Lunch

Students may eat their own lunch in the cafeteria on the ground level of the UWM Union, a short walk east of the planetarium. Students are welcome to eat lunch outdoors, weather permitting.


Resource Materials

Find activities, videos, readings, and other resource materials for your class.

Learning Activities

Theme One: Astronomical Objects in The Day/Night Sky

  1. The Sun is the closest star to us

The Sun is a Star!
Online Book: Our Very Own Sun (English / Spanish)

The Sun is the Largest Object in our Solar System
Video: Bill Nye on The Sun is the largest object in our solar system
Website: Kids Astronomy: Our Solar System

  1. The Moon is the Earth’s only Natural Satellite

Moon light is Reflected Light from the Sun
Activity: Bouncing Sunlight (Sun’s reflected light on the Moon)

  1. Planets (Earth is a planet) go around Stars

Website: Information on the planets

Theme Two: The Solar System

  1. Overview of Solar System: 1 star, 8 planets, and many small objects

Activity: Solar System in your Pocket (Shows the relative distances between the Sun and the planets)

Theme Three: Earth/Moon/Sun Interactions

  1. Rotation of the Earth: Evidence is Day and Night

Activity: Relative size of Sun, Moon, Earth (G1 – 3)
Activity: What Makes Day and Night?
Activity: What Makes Light? (Observing day and night)

  1. Interaction of the Earth and Sun

Activity: What Makes Shadows? (Observing shadows)

  1. Eclipses

Video: Partial Solar Eclipse (Jan. 2011 as seen from around the world)
Video: Total Solar Eclipse

Readings

  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • If You Decide to Go to the Moon, Faith McNulty
  • Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System, Joanna Cole
  • The Magic School Bus Sees Stars, Joanna Cole
  • Autumn Leaves, Leland B. Jacobs, Harcourt Science, T50
  • Our Tree, Marchette Chute, Harcourt science, T51
  • Our Changing Year, Kathryn Corbett, Harcourt Science, T54