Center for Mathematics and Science Education

The University of Mississippi

Mobile Planetarium Program

The Mobile Planetarium Program is a unique experience provided by the CMSE that begins in the classroom and ends with a visit from our mobile planetarium. The best part is that this amazing experience happens without your students ever having to leave school!

The program begins with fun learning activities which are aligned with the standards and provided to teachers to complete with their students in the comfort of their classroom. After the showing has been confirmed, teachers will choose what materials they would like to receive from a “menu of options.” These materials can be picked up from the CMSE or any of the University of Mississippi regional campuses (Desoto, Tupelo, Booneville, Grenada). After implementation of the activities, the CMSE will bring the mobile planetarium to your school for sessions of stargazing.

The Mobile Planetarium Program lessons are applicable to students ranging from elementary through high school. Students as young as kindergarten are able to grasp concepts shown in the planetarium shows. The planetarium will hold approximately 25-30 students, and sessions range from 20-45 minutes, according to the teacher’s schedule. A maximum of 350 students can be accommodated in one day.

Click here to see how the Mobile Planetarium works.

The associated costs for each Mobile Planetarium visit are:

Showing Fees are based on the following types of showings:

One Day School Showing $250.00 (max 350 students*)
Two Day School Showing $375.00
Half Day/
Community Event Showing – $125.00 (max 4 hours)

Mileage:

$0.58 /mile (federal mileage rate) incurred by round-trip travel between the location of showing and the Center for Mathematics and Science Education (1111 Jackson Ave. W., University MS 38677).

Lodging:

If one-way travel is greater than 70 miles, a lodging expense of $150 per night will also be included. 

*If two days are required due to having more than 350 students, the cost is $375 in addition to mileage and lodging.

Steps to plan a successful Mobile Planetarium Visit:

Step One: Click here to read and understand all Mobile Planetarium requirements, pricing, and logistics.

Step Two: Determine the mileage from the CMSE (1111 Jackson Ave. W., University, MS 38677) to your showing location. (This information will be needed to complete the Mobile Planetarium Reservation Request.)

Step Three: Submit a Mobile Planetarium Reservation Request by completing the form located under the tab labeled Reservation Request. After completing the reservation request, you will receive an email outlining your submission.

Step Four: After submitting the reservation request, allow the CMSE at least two weeks to compile and confirm necessary logistics. During these two weeks, a CMSE staff member may reach out to clarify some information – please be attentive to the contact information you provided on the form.

Step Five: After logistics are finalized, you will receive an email requesting for you to confirm your reservation. After you confirm, you will receive and invoice for your upcoming showing.

The email may also request necessary documents, such as: photo release forms, student roster(s), principal agreement (if applicable), etc. Please note: this is not an exhaustive list. These documents are traditionally requested to be submitted at least two weeks prior to the showing.

Step Six: Get excited for an educational, fun-filled day of space!

Before submitting a request, please read through all requirements, pricing, and logistics.

Click here to complete the Mobile Planetarium Program Reservation Request Form. After completing the reservation request, you will receive an email outlining your submission. Please note, completing this form does NOT confirm your showing. After the CMSE receives the reservation request form, each request will be considered and further communication will take place via email (please allow two weeks for this).

Center for Mathematics and Science Education
The University of Mississippi
1111 Jackson Avenue W., Suite Q
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-6621

Fax: (662) 915-1762

Email: cmsek12stem@go.olemiss.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to see sample schedules of school day planetarium showings. It is the responsibility of the requesting teacher/administrator to generate the schedule for their school.

We arrive 30 minutes prior to the first session. This gives us time to set up the planetarium and address any technical issues that may arise. We stay until the last bell. The requesting teacher/administrator should supply the schedule for the day. Remember to include time in your schedule for facilitators to eat lunch!

The planetarium is 16 feet high with a diameter of 16 feet. It will not fit inside a classroom. It cannot be set up outside. The best location is in a gym (without PE classes in session) or on an auditorium stage (must be clear enough for students to enter/exit safely.

This really depends on the age/size of your students. For elementary students, 25-30 students can fit comfortably; for middle school students, 20-25 students can fit comfortably. If you have students with special needs (wheelchair, claustrophobia, autism, etc), please inform the facilitators so they can provide the appropriate accommodations.

We offer shows from 20 to 30 minutes long. You can choose the length that best fits your schedule. Students need at least 5 minutes between shows to enter/exit.

You can invite students with special needs to enjoy the planetarium. Invite the school administration or workers from the district office or around your school building to show off what you are doing for your students. People of all ages enjoy this experience!

Legally, there must be a faculty member in each session with facilitators to manage student behavior. You may not drop your students off or leave the dome during a presentation. You may rotate with other teachers to attend the sessions; however, they must be able to manage your students’ behavior. If student behavior cannot be managed by a faculty member, we reserve the right to end that session.

We have pulled Earth and Space related lessons from various resources for you to use with your students in the days leading up to the planetarium visit. Teachers receive a link to choose which lessons he/she would like to use in the classroom. Lessons include Learn from Images, Retrograde Motion, Telescopes Help Us See, The Solar System: Changing Perspectives, Alaska Satellite Image Comparison, GLOBE Earth System Satellite Image Sets, and Solar System Walk.

The lessons can be used at any level but correlate to specific grade-level standards. You may choose to use the resource materials differently than the lessons suggest in order to accommodate the needs of your students.

You may pick up the resource materials from the nearest University of Mississippi campus (Oxford, Desoto, Tupelo, Booneville, Grenada).  If you are not within driving distance of a regional campus, other arrangements may can be explored.

You are not required to use the resource materials. They are available as a supplemental resource if you choose to use them.

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