Mobile Planetarium Program
Explore the universe without ever leaving your school
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.
How do I sign up?
After reviewing the planetarium policies above, click the button below to request a reservation for the Mobile Planetarium Program.
FRequently Asked Questions
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. 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.
Materials can include some or all of the following: PVC pipe telescopes, various lenses , laminated image sets, planet representations, a bowling ball.
The lessons can be used at any level but correlate to specific performance objectives. 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 can be explored. Email Dr. Whitney Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
The container will vary depending on the lessons you choose. It could be the size of a milk crate or a manila envelope.
You are not required to use the resource materials. They are available as a supplemental resource if you choose to use them.